Skip to main content

Full text of "The great divide : travels in the upper Yellowstone in the summer of 1874"

See other formats


^. 




A. Dean and Jean M. Larsen 
Yellowstone Park Collection 




■r.^^^iSHs^^.M 

Yellowst /Rare 

F 722.62.D923 1876 

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY 



3 1197 22811 6312 



M^ 



m 



■^^■^ 







4^'. 



>-^. 




■:V^ 



...^ 



■^^:*) 






t : 



/l V 



, y 



Sc^^.,,^^^ 









''-N 



THE aHEAT DIVIDE. 



LOXDOX : I'IMXTED BY 

SPCTT.SWOOO. ANO CO.. .NKW-STKKKT SQfAUK 

AXO PAULIAMKNT STltEET 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/greatdividetraveOOdunr 





THE 



GREAT DIVIDE: 



TRAVELS IN THE UPPER YELLOWSTONE IN THE 
SUMMER OF 1874 



EARL OF DUNRAVEN 



SECONn EniTION. RFYISED 




WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY VALENTINE JJ'. HEOJILEV 



Jii n t( n 

CHATTO AND WIND US, PICCADILLY 

1876 



Ijiii 



€o mp Wife 



WHO BY HER COMPANIONSHIP WHEN PRESENT 

AND FOND SYMPATHY WHEN ABSENT 

H.VS COMFORTED ME MUCH ON MANY EXPEDITIONS 

THIS BOOK IS 

WITH ALL AFFECTION 

DEDICATED 



PREFACE. 

Being in the United States during the summer of 1874, 
and having two or three months of spare time, I deter- 
mined to pay a visit in the autumn to tlie tar-famed 
region of the Upper Yellowstone, and to judge for myself 
whether the thermal springs and geysers there situated 
were deserving of the superiority claimed for them over 
sunilar phenomena in New Zealand and Iceland. For 
two or three years— hi. fact, ever since the first vague 
accounts of the marvels to be seen upon its shores had 
filtered out into the world - 1 had longed to visit 
the Yellowstone. Its lakes had for me a magnetic attrac- 
tion which drew me towards them with an irresisUble 
impulse ; and there was an atmosphere of mystery envelop- 
ing its upper waters like a mist, which I eagerly sought 

to dispel. 

I did not undertake the expedition in the cause 
of Science. I do not pretend to anything but a very 
slight acquaintance with natural history, geology, and 
mineralogy. I had no instruments for taking measure- 
ments, nOT the time, knowledge, and skill necessary to make 
an advantageous use of them. I have, therefore, when- 
ever practicable, refeiTcd for distances and measurements 



viii PREFACE. 

to the different accounts contained in the reports of the 
Government expeditions of 1871-72 organised by Pro- 
fessor Hay den ; and to that skilful and learned gentle- 
man I owe a lasting debt of gratitude for his kmdness 
in supplying me with details of routes and distances, for 
advising me as to guides and means of transportation, and 
for giving me many other items of information which 
turned out most useful to me in my trip. I am also 
anxious to acknowledge many favours I have received 
from the hands of General Sherman and General Sheridan, 
not only on the occasion of my visit to the Yellowstone, 
but on many other occasions. Without their valuable 
assistance and the benefit of their introductions, my 
explorations might frequently have failed altogether, or at 
any rate would have been conducted with great difficulty. 
To General Sweitzer also, and the other officers at Fort 
Ellis, my thanks are due for their unfailing kindness to me ; 
and I take this opportunity of thanking my fellow-country- 
man, Mr. William Blackmore, for his goodness in allow- 
ing me to use in illustration some specimens selected from 
his beautiful collection of photographs of the Yellowstone 
district and Geyserland. 

I had, moreover, heard the district spoken of as an 
excellent game-producing country, — and the pursuit of 
large game is to me a great delight : but it was less for any 
special design of liunting than for the satisfaction of my 
curiosity and the gratification of my sight-seeing instincts 
that I really decided to attempt the trip. 

I had intended making a somewhat prolonged tour, 
and proposed starting for the Yellowstone Lake from 



PHEFACE. ix 

Eawlings Springs or some other convenient point on tlie 
Union Pacific Eailway, not far west of Cheyenne. Had 
I done so I might have had something of greater interest 
to narrate. But I was prevented from carrying out m.y 
original intentions by the fact that hostilities broke out 
between certain of the Indian tribes and the Government, 
and I was therefore compelled to abandon all idea of 
penetrating to Geyserland from the east through moun- 
tain passes hitherto untrodden by the white man's foot, 
and to take a more ordinary and prosaic route. 

I have not attempted to force into my narrative the 
typical Western Man, or to introduce much of his 
peculiar phraseology. I have also refrained from ventur- 
ing upon second-hand imitations of American humourists, 
and from attempting to portray characters already 
drawn by skilful delineators of frontier life. Neither 
have I filled the mouths of my Transatlantic characters 
with expressions which are erroneously supposed to 
thickly interlard the conversation of all Americans. 

Of the illustrations in which Mr. Valentine Bromley 
has so graphically carried out my ideas, I will say nothing. 
The reader will agree with me that they speak for them- 
selves. 

If I have been guilty of technical errors in nomen- 
clature, I pray to be excused ; my meaning will, I think, 
in any case be clear. If I am taken to task for using the 
term ' G eyser ' as I do, I reply that, though it is, strictly 
speaking, the proper name of a certain spring in Iceland, 
it has gradually come to be considered the generic term 
applicable to all springs of a similar character ; and 



X PliEFACE. 

tlierefore 1 am justifiod in using in that sense the expres- 
sions ' Geyser ' and ' Geyserite.' . 

However evident the imperfections of the volume may 
be, it is not my business to allude to them. It is an 
axiom in horse-dealing to praise an animal's bad points 
and to leave the good ones to take care of themselves ; 
and if an author has anything explanatory to say, he 
should be guided by this principle. But to my mind he 
has no right to usurp the functions of a critic, and for a 
writer to plead extenuating circumstances for a book 
which he thinks worthy to be laid before the pubhc is, 
to saj^ the least of it, an evidence of bad taste. The only 
remark, therefore, that I shall offer is, that owing to the 
flict that I had to leave home very suddenly, I was 
deprived of a proper opportunity of revising this work, 
and in consequence several errors appeared in its pages, 
which otherwise would have been corrected. I have 
endeavoured to remedy this defect to the best of my 
ability in this edition. 

So wonderful are the hot springs in the country 
referred to in the ensuing pages, that no language at my 
command can adequately describe their marvels. They 
must be seen to be believed. I shall be well content if 
by the perusal of this book some of my readers may be 
induced to judge of the country for themselves, and I 
hope that any travellers or students of Nature who con- 
template a visit thither will find in the pages of the 
' Great Divide' some information that may prove service- 
able on the trip. 

DUNEAVEN. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTEIl PAGE 

I. ' Wonderland ' 1 

II. Off to the Geysers 35 

III. The Crow Tribe 63 

IV. Still on our Way 133 

V. The Hot Springs on Gardiner's River . . . 184 

VI. To the Yellowstone Falls 223 

Vn. Bearing the End 257 

VIII. A Comprehensive Review . . . . . . 298 

IX. The Track Back 340 



LIST 



FULL-PAGE ILLUSTEATIONS. 



(yOUNTiNG HIS Coups Frontia^piece 

Canoe shooting a Rapid . . . .To face page 31 

A Noble Savage in Town ,, 69 

Crow Chiefs „ 86 

Cache „ 103 

Doubtful Friends ........ 122 

Elk or Indians ? „ 134 

Mule Packing „ 143 

Making Camp „ 148 

A Yellowstone Highway „ 153 

Making the best of it . . . .... „ 177 

Indians, by Jove ! „ 214 

Upper Fire-hole, from ' Old Faithful ' . . . „ 291 

Mammoth Hot Springs on Gardiner's River . „ 340 

Stalking the Ram „ 361 



1. Map of the Territories surrounding the Geyser\ 

Basins I 

2. Map of the Upper and Lower Geyser Basins .) 



THE GREAT DIVIDE. 



CHAPTEE I. 

'WONDERLAND.' 

North America has frequently been compared disad- 
vantageously, as regards scenery, with Europe and the 
other quarters of the globe ; and not without reason. Of 
the western continent, the better known and more civilised 
portions are very uninteresting. If I except the Hudson, 
which is lovely, the soft beauty of Lake George, the 
mountainous districts of New England, of Virginia, and 
other spurs and offshoots of the AUeghanies, the general 
character of the country, more especially between the 
AUeghanies and the Eockies, is flat, dreary, and uninviting. 
Exceedingly graceful is the maize plant when its silken 
tassels droop in the hot sunshine amid the dark green 
curving leaves, yet the eye wearies of interminable corn- 
fields bounded by untidy and tortuous snake fences. 
Nothing is more vulgar-looking and unkempt than recently 
cleared land. The face of Nature, shorn of the beauty 
of its natural covering, looks mean and dirty ; and, as 
compared with its appearance when clothed with forest, 
resembles the contrast between a man's countenance when 



2 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

disfigured by a coarse stubbly growth of a week old, 
and the same when adorned with the soft Sowings of a 
patriarchal beard. Blackened stumps stand thickly in the 
foreground amid rocks and weeds, and the forest seems 
to huddle itself back out of reach of the fatal axe. The 
beauty of nature is destroyed, and is not succeeded by the 
artificial beauty of civilisation. 

The great plains, though fascinating from their vast- 
ness, and blessed with most glorious sunsets and clothed 
. with an exquisitely delicate colouring — so delicate that it 
is not appreciated until a long apprenticeship to the prairie 
has been served, — are, nevertheless, inexpressibly sad and 
mournful. The mountains, grand as they are, cannot for 
a moment compare in shape, form, and general beauty 
with the Alps. No glaciers fill the upper portions of the 
valleys ; the thunder of the avalanche is seldom heard. 
No peaks like the Matterhorn astonish with their rugged- 
ness the traveller's eye. But there is one attribute 
peculiar to the continent which fully atones for its short- 
comings in other respects ; it is that of vastness. Every- 
thing is huge and stupendous. Nature is formed in a 
larger mould than in other lands. She is robust and strong, 
all her actions full of vigour and young life. Storms are 
fearful and violent, floods rise and sweep the country like 
seas. Mighty rivers, with fierce ungovernable tide, in a 
night scoop out fresh beds for themselves and laugh at 
man's shackles and restraints, or, in their struggles to break 
the chains that winter has bound around them, burst free 
and carry off, like cobwebs, the toilsome results of engi- 
neering skill. Lakes are seas. There are great deserts 
almost unknown, and unmarked on any map. Through 
thousands and thousands of square miles of primeval 
forest, dark, impenetrable to the sun's rays, the north 
wind wails and whispers ; while for days you may 



CENTRAL NORTH AMERICA. 3 

travel on the plains without seeing a tree, the horizon 
forming an unbroken circle around you. The so-called 
Eocky Mountains extend the entire length of the conti- 
nent, and in places are five or six hundred miles in 
width, comprising many ranges which contain important 
valleys, and divide great and fertile plains. Through 
these mountain-walls the rivers have burst or sawn 
their way, forming chasms (canons as they are called) 
for which no parallel can elsewhere be found. 

While this quality of vastness marks the whole 
North American Continent, nowhere can you so well 
come in contact with and appreciate it as in the western 
wilds or far away territories ; where Nature is very strong 
and man is very weak, and where the powers of science 
have not yet been called into play, to supplement his 
efforts and make up for his feebleness. And to no part 
of the ' Great West ' should I sooner advise the traveller 
to go than to that marvellous country which I am about 
in memory to revisit. 

Comprised in the territories of Montana and Wyoming 
there is a region which contains all the peculiarities of 
the continent in a remarkable degree, and which, 
moreover, is exceedingly interesting on account of its 
scenery, its geography, its mineralogy, and its sport. 
Although the altitudes are not so high as in other parts 
of the continent, it may be truthfully called the summit 
or apex of North America. Thence the waters flow in 
all directions — north, south, east, and west. There it is 
that great rivers rise, running through every clime, from 
perpetual snow to tropical heat. On the one side glance 
the currents destined to mingle with the tepid waves of 
the Gulf of Mexico ; up the rapids on the other leap the 
salmon ascending from the distant waters of the Pacific 
Ocean. It is the geographical centre of North America ; 

b2 



4 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

it is the principal watershed of the continent. It is 
essentially ' The Great Divide.' Eoaming at will through 
the trackless wastes that compose and surround this 
region, are to be found the best representatives of the 
fast vanishing aboriginal race. By the great bend of the 
Yellowstone are grouped the tall lodges of the gigantic 
Crows, men of six feet four or five inches in height, with 
long hair reaching in heavy plaits to their knees. From 
Idaho come parties of Bannacks, great raisers of stock 
and traders in horses. Pen d'Oreilles, Gros Ventres, 
Flatheads, Bloods, and Piegans, warlike Blackfeet, Assini- 
boins, and Sioux wander through the hunting grounds 
seeking their meat from God ; stealing horses, hunting, 
and warring upon one another in something like their 
natural freedom. Some of these are very hostile to the 
pale-faces, and much to be dreaded, like the well-armed 
and numerous Sioux, or as they style themselves ' Dako- 
tahs ; ' others are friendly to the whites, like the Crows, 
Snakes, Bannacks, and their kindred tribes. A few, 
such as Nez Perces and Bannacks, are semi-civilised, 
cultivating a little land, and raising horses and cattle, 
possessing farming implements, and using in war or for 
the chase the newest fashion in repeating rifles and the 
latest thing out in revolving pistols ; others, such as Black- 
feet and Assiniboins, are primitive and unsophisticated, 
depending in a great measure upon their ancient weapons, 
the bow, the lance, and the club ; and subsisting entirely 
by the chase, — wanderers who have their homes far to 
the north in British territory. Sorely am I tempted to 
' switch off' here, and dilate upon the manners, customs, 
rights and wrongs of the much-abused, long-suffering, and 
little-understood Eed Indian race. Their very appellation 
is a misnomer ; their history is one long story of misman- 
agement, of rights withheld, treaties broken, and promises 



VARIETY OF SFORT. 6 

unfulfilled. With the bright exception of the Amalga- 
mated Hudson Bay and North- West Fur Companies, 
their rulers have taken no pains to comprehend and 
provide for the necessities of their savage natures. But, 
as I know that I shall not be able to resist the temptation 
of alluding to this to me most fascinating subject later on 
when I come to speak of the Crow nation, I stay my pen 
here. 

In this same region are still to be found great herds of 
wapiti — noblest representatives of the deer tribe, and 
soon to be numbered among things of the past. In the 
swampy flats among old beaver dams, where willows and 
alders grow, or among the thickest groves of young firs, 
still lingers the largest of existing elks, the moose. Poor 
Cervus Alces ! your ungainly form has an old-time look 
about it ; your very appearance seems out of keeping with 
the present day. The smoke of the chimney, the sound 
of the axe, are surely though slowly encroaching on your 
wild domains. The atmosphere of civilisation is death to 
you, and in spite of your exquisitely keen senses of smell 
and hearing you too will soon have to be placed in the 
category of things that have been. In the valleys are 
both white-tail and black-tail deer. On the little prairies, 
open glades, and sparsely wooded slopes, grazes the small 
mountain bison or buffalo, whose race has also nearly 
vanished from the scene ; and not very far distant are to be 
found herds of his congener, the great bison of the plains, 
for down in the Judith basin lie the hunting grounds 
wdiere the Crows go every summer and winter in search 
of the prairie buffalo. In summer they kill them for their 
flesh ; in winter they utilise their skins to trade with the 
whites, and to make robes and houses for themselves. 
Prong-horn antelopes, the only specimen of the species 
on the continent, and the only known variety in the 



6 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

world that carries a branching horn, are very numerous 
on the plains and foot hills. Clear against the sky line, 
standing on some jutting crag, may not unfrequently 
be seen the massive stately outline of a bighorn or moun- 
tain sheep, a near relation to the moufflon and argali ; 
and far up in the wildest fastnesses of the range, among 
untrodden peaks, wild goats distantly allied to the 
eastern ibex have their inaccessible abode. If this list be 
not sufficient, and if it be considered that an element of 
danger is necessary, the sportsman will be glad to hear 
that nowhere, save perhaps in Southern California, will 
he be more likely to encounter Ursus horribilis, the 
grizzly bear. If he has ever pursued, or been pursued 
by that unpleasant beast, he will be gratified to learn 
that, as a rule, pine-trees are numerous and not difficult 
to climb. 

It is a fortunate dispensation that the only dangerous 
variety of the genus in America cannot climb. The black 
bear, it is true, will ascend any tree that he can clasp with 
his muscular arms ; but he is a thoroughly reasonable 
animal, and is fully alive to the cogent logic of a bullet ; 
whereas the grizzly is an intractable brute. Happily, 
however, he is no gymnast ; and from the seciurity of a 
tree-top a man can laugh his adversary to scorn. 

Though game is abundant in many States and 
territories at certain times of the year, yet, taken as a 
whole, North America cannot for a moment compare with 
India or Africa as a hunting country. I have enjoyed pretty 
good sport occasionally myself, it is true : but it is difficult 
to get ; besides, it requires patience and perseverance, and 
entails hard work, and even then success is very uncer- 
tain ; and as there is nothing I so much dislike as being 
misled by accounts of the capabilities of a country in a 
hunting point of view, it is better, in order to avoid the 



B UFFAL 0-R UNNING. 7 

possibility of myself offending in this respect, to say at 
once that in my opinion a man going to the States or to 
British- American territory for big game shooting, and for 
nothing else, is almost sure to be disappointed. I cannot 
speak from personal experience; but, if the enthusiastic 
accounts one hears from the forests are not exaggerated, 
there can be no doubt that, if he can afford it, a sportsman 
can get far better deer-stalking in Scotland than anywhere 
else. 

On the plains buffalo are still tolerably numerous, and 
can always be met with if a man knows the right places 
to go to ; but running buffalo ought scarcely to be con- 
sidered a branch of the noble pastime. It is exciting ; it 
calls into activity the savage instinct to shed blood that 
is inherent, though it may be dormant, in every man : but 
it is scarcely sport. Good sport cannot very well be 
attained without the expenditure of considerable time and 
trouble. It takes one a year or two to get acquainted 
with the country, and to learn something of the habits, 
manners, and customs of the wild beasts inhabiting it. 
And without this knowledge success is impossible. I have 
scarcely ever done much good on my first visit to any sec- 
tion, but I have managed to find out sufficient to ensure 
my being amply rewarded for my pains on a second 
attempt. Information generally comes from such unre- 
liable sources, one hears such contradictory, absurd, and 
exaggerated statements, that it is wiser not to depend on 
local authorities, or indeed upon any authority at all, 
unless one is very well satisfied as to its trustworthiness. 
It is better to make up one's mind to spend one season at 
any rate in investigation, and then, if the prospects of sport 
are good enough to warrant the expenditure of much 
necessary trouble and a considerable sum of money, to 
organise a hunting expedition to that district. Take a 



8 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

limited, a very limited, portion of the United States, 
some natural section in the mountains, plains, or valleys, 
cut off by streams or ranges over or across which 
game are not likely to travel ; even that area will be so 
enormous, the country will be so big, that unless it is 
literally swarming with deer it may be difficult to find 
them. 

The herds of game move so much, also, according to the 
seasons. In Estes Park, for instance, near Denver, you 
might go out in winter or in early spring, when the snow 
is deep upon the Eange, and shoot black-tail deer till you 
were sick of slaughter. I daresay you might — if you knew 
where to go to — sit down, and, without moving, get ten, 
fifteen, or even as many as twenty shots in the day. At 
other seasons you might walk the flesh off your bones 
without seeing a beast of any kind. Yet the deer are 
somewhere there all the time ; and, if you can only find out ^ 
to what deep recesses of the forest, or to what high moun- 
tain pastures they have betaken themselves in their search 
for cool shelter, or in their retreat from mosquitoes and 
other insect pests, you w^ould be amply rewarded for your 
trouble. 

It is the same with the wapiti. Sometimes the park 
will be full of them ; you may find herds feeding right 
down upon the plain among the cattle ; and in a fortnight 
there will not be one left. All will have disappeared ; and, 
what is more, it is almost impossible to follow them up 
and find them, for they are much shyer than the deer. 
Where do they go to? Not across the snowy range, 
certainly. Where, then? Up to the bare fells, just 
under the perpetual snow, where they crop the short sweet 
grass that springs amid the debris fallen from the highest 
peaks ; to the deep, black recesses of primeval forest ; to 
valleys, basins, httle parks and plains, hidden among the 



DEER AND WAPITI. 9 

folds of the mountains, where the foot even of the wan- 
dering miner has never disturbed the solitudes. 

Flying from the sound of the axe and the saw-mill, 
trying to escape from the sand-flies and mosquitoes that 
plague them during the summer months, they plunge 
into fastnesses known only to themselves, where it is 
well nigh impossible to find them, and from which they 
descend only when driven to lower pastures by stress of 
weather. While the heat of summer lasts the hunters of 
the country do not look for them, for they could not 
pack the meat down to market from the remote feeding- 
grounds they then frequent ; and they know that in the 
winter season there will be plenty of game in the foot 
hills close to the cities and the railway. The abundance 
of game in the country is testified by the fact that in 
Denver deer-meat is in winter worth only from three to 
three and a half cents a pound. 

It is the same nearly everywhere, I believe. In 
Newfoundland the Cariboo migrate at certain seasons in 
vast numbers ; crossing in the spring, generally in April, 
to their summer feeding-grounds on the north side of the 
Island ; in the fall, about September, assembling in vast 
multitudes on the great plains and barrens of the interior ; 
and in midwinter betaking themselves to the hills on 
the southern coast, on whose heights they find good 
store of moss and lichens exposed by the united action 
of a faint wintry sun- and violent gales. Two years 
ago I was near Henry's Fork of Green Eiver, in the 
spurs of the Uintah mountains. For about a month 
or six weeks in the fall, deer and wapiti come through 
the country in large numbers. Unfortunately I was too 
early on the ground, and had scarcely any success : but 
a party that arrived shortly after my departure, chancing 
to hit upon the right moment, enjoyed excellent sport. 



10 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

Their movements being regulated by the seasons, it is 
impossible to predict the arrival of the herds. In an 
open fall, a long delay is to be looked for ; if winter, 
however, sets in early, their appearance is accelerated. 
Altogether it is a chance to find them, for they do not 
remain long ; the bands quickly pass through and are 
gone. The same state of things exists in the Upper 
Yellowstone country, and indeed in nearly every district 
with which I am personally acquainted. A locality where 
game remains all the year round is hard to find. 

Then the face of the country changes very rapidly, 
and the herds are in consequence continually and per- 
manently shifting their ground. Valleys are ' settled up * 
— ' planted,' as would have been said in old Colonial 
days — in a single summer, and wheat-fields take the place 
of pasture-lands of short curly buffalo-grass. Tall maize 
plants shake their beautifully pendant dark-green glossy 
leaves where only a few weeks before thickets of coarse 
reeds and herbage grew. The whirr of the thrashing- 
machine is now heard where last year the silence was 
broken only by the coughing of deer, the barking of 
foxes, and the dismal howls of coyotes. I expect I should 
starve to-day in a place where four years ago I saw, I am 
sure, more than a thousand wapiti in one week. Even 
in a country which is not settled, if it is tolerably safe, 
and if small parties of white men can travel through it 
without much risk, the game will very soon be driven off 
or exterminated. And what wonder, when they kill 
millions of buffalo for their hides, and thousands of deer 
and wapiti for their skins alone, leaving the bodies to 
rot and fester in the sun ? 

Nothing irritates the aborigines so much as this whole- 
sale destruction and waste of food. The red men are the 
game preservers of the country. Where Eed Indians are 



MONTANA. 11 

numerous, you will be sure to find herds of wapiti, bands 
of white-tail and black-tail deer, antelope, sheep, buf- 
falo, and everything else. There are certain tracts and 
districts, the marches between the hunting grounds of 
mutually hostile tribes, where nobody dares to go to hunt 
or trap, but across which strips of debatable land stealing 
parties and small war parties are frequently passing. That 
is the sort of place to go to if you want to see game ; 
but there you may possibly see more than you bargained 
for ; you may be a hunted, as well as a hunting, animal, 
and with the pleasures of the chase mingle the emotions 
of the chased. 

As a rule, it may be truthfully said of America, ' No 
Indians, not much game ; heap of Sioux, plenty of buffalo, 
elk, and deer.' There are exceptions to this rule, but 
not many. 

Another difficulty in the way of the English sports- 
man is, that very few Americans care about what they 
call hunting, and we call shooting, as an amusement. 
There are, of course, exceptions ; men who love the 
wilds, and take delight in running buffalo or wapiti, 
or stalking a deer ; and year by year these exceptions are 
becoming more numerous : but, as a rule, the inhabitants 
of the United States take their holidays in quite a dif- 
ferent style, or, if they do indulge in shooting at all, go in 
for prairie chickens and small game. Therefore it is 
not very easy for a stranger to procure reliable and 
disinterested information. 

Having thus briefly alluded to the game question, and 
having also, I trust, by these few remarks, guarded against 
the possibility of misleading my brother sportsmen, I will 
return to Montana and glance at the numerous attrac- 
tions she offers to the scientific man and the lover of 
nature. 



]2 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

It is true that Montana has not fulfilled expectations 
as a gold-producing country, but this is attributable not 
so much to the absence of the precious metals as to 
the fact that communication is difficult and transpor- 
tation laborious. Freights consequently are so high 
that working any but the very richest ores cannot 
possibly be remunerative. When it is considered that 
freights have to be hauled over almost impassable roads, 
from Corinne on the Union Pacific Eailway, or have to 
ascend the Missouri in boats to the mouth of the Mussel 
Shell, whence they must be transported by mule or 
ox-trains, it is not to be wondered at that quartz mining 
does not pay. 

In the early years of the settlement of the territory, 
prices ranged almost as high as they did in California 
during the period of great excitement there. Two dollars 
in dust per meal, and a dollar for a feed for your horse, 
were not uncommon prices. Mour reached as high as 75 
cents per pound ; hay was worth 80 dollars a ton, and all 
the necessaries of life for man and beast were charged for 
in like proportion. Such articles as picks sold at from 
15 to 20 dollars apiece. Luxuries were ruinous; for 
lucifer matches, as an instance, you had to pay 75 cents 
or a dollar per small box. A friend of mine who put 
up a crushing mill at Stirling told me that he sold for 
,§'200 a saddle for which he had given Bib in St. Louis. 
Miners were paid $b per day, with their board and 
lodging. 

Against such exorbitant prices it was impossible for 
mine or mill owner to stand up. California, on the con- 
trary, is practically self-supporting : its soil and climate 
will produce nearly every fruit, vegetable, and cereal that 
is of benefit to man ; and it contains the finest pasture 
land in the world for sheep and cattle. Besides, it is 



WONDERLAND. 18 

accessible by sea, and consequently in that case ' supply ' 
was not long in becoming equal to ' demand.' But 
Montana is remote from tlie sea, navigable rivers, and 
railways. As far as facilities of communication go, it is 
scarcely better off now than it was ten years ago, and the 
result is that prices, although they have dechned, are still 
excessively high. Washing or gulch mining, therefore, is 
the only branch of the business which can be successfully 
carried on, and nearly all the gold exported from Montana 
is obtained by. this process. 

But there undoubtedly are in the country numerous 
and fairly rich lodes of gold-bearing quartz, needing only 
the presence of a railway to become most valuable 
property. ' When the railway is made ' is, in Montana, a 
sort of equivalent for our phrase ' when my ship comes 
home.' The Northern Pacific Eailway was surveyed 
through the best parts of the territory, and under the 
benign influence of that great civihser Montana would 
rapidly have developed into a prosperous State. But it is 
a case of ' If hads were shads there would have been fish 
for supper.' The Northern Pacific came to an untimely 
end. No one but Providence and financial agents can 
possibly say whether it is ever likely to be ' put through,' 
and in the meantime the northern territories are steadily 
' advancing backwards.' 

Tn spite of Montana's failure to rank among the 
principal gold and silver producing districts of the world, 
however, the mineralogist or geologist will find plenty 
to occupy and interest him. Nor need the lover of 
scenery or the Alpine climber be dissatisfied, for very 
beautiful are the mountains, prairies, streams, water- 
falls, and woods ; and, though the summits are higher in 
other portions of the great irregular elevation commonly 
known as the Eocky Mountains, yet nowhere, save in 



14 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

the great upheaval of the Sierra Nevada, are the outlines 
finer and more broken. The rugged, serrated range con- 
taining the three Tetons is, so far as I know, as picturesque 
as any on the continent. Although the highest mountains 
of North America are exceedingly easy of ascent, yet 
there are exceptions, for many a mountain is said to be 
inaccessible, and multitudes of peaks have never yet been 
trodden by the foot of man. 

But the great centre of attraction to all, whatever 
their tastes and proclivities may be, is, of course, that 
extraordinary section of country not inaptly termed by 
the inhabitants ' Wonderland ' — more accurately but not 
so euphoniously designated ' the Upper and Lower Fire- 
hole basin ' or ' Geyser basin, ' while the whole district is, 
for want of a better name, usually described as the 
' Upper Yellowstone Country. ' It is of this Geyser basin, 
the country immediately surrounding it, and the various 
routes leading thereto, that I propose to speak. It is 
accessible to all who have leisure, money, and inclination 
to travel, nor can it be pretended that a visit is attended 
by any alarming risk. To the territories of Montana, 
Wyoming, and Idaho in general I shall not allude. They 
are great hunting grounds, and there is much to be said 
about them ; but large portions of these territories — and 
those portions, for many reasons, the most prolific in 
game — are not very well known to me, and can be visited 
only at considerable risk owing to the restless hostility of 
the Indians. 

There are certain classes or families of reptiles and 
animals that are invariably associated in our minds with 
feelings of disgust, either on account of some real or 
fancied quality of danger inherent in them, as in the 
case of snakes, lizards, and scorpions, or by reason of 
something repulsive in the appearance of the creature, as 
for instance, in the brown and spotty toad. 



THE TOURIST. 16 

Such feelings may perhaps be traced to their pecuhar 
causes, but there seems to be no earthly reason for asso- 
ciating with certain conditions of men the attributes that 
are universally supposed to be inseparable from them. 
Why is a sandboy jolly, or a hatter mad ? What is there 
in the avocation of a tailor that should reduce the 
disciple of St. Christopher so far below the ordinary 
unit of humanity ? And what has the tourist done that 
in the eyes of his fellow- creatures he should be an object 
of loathing and scorn ? Is there anything radically wrong 
in his pursuits ? Does the taint of original sin exhale a 
ranker odour among persons belonging to a class which 
would not exist but for the crime of curiosity? The 
individual tourist is no worse than his fellows, as far as 
personal excellence is concerned ; it is the pursuit that 
brands him with infamy, that covers him with a halo of 
shame. At some time or other of our lives we are sure to 
have the tourist mania. It is as certain as the measles. 
Concealment is in vain, and the victim may as well 
wave aloft his Murray and with brazen front defy the 
sarcasms of the world, consoling himself with the reflec- 
tion that the man who laughs at tourists, becoming one 
himself (as he is sure to do at some period of his life), will 
in his turn be exposed to the ridicule of others. In the 
Emerald Isle they call them 'Dingoes,' and use them as 
butts at which to aim the shafts of their Irish wit. The 
irrepressible North Briton on his native heath considers 
them poor ' fushionless ' fools, and eyes them with a 
contempt he does not entertain for their purses. The 
females of the tribe are of course, if good-looking, 
exempt from the condemnation incurred by their com- 
panions (I use the word companions advisedly as im- 
plying a difference of sex). But the males are a race 
hated and despised. 

Not only is the tourist scorned, but he is pillaged. 



16 THE GREAT DIVIDE, 

Early in summer, armies of open-mouthed expectant 
human sharks lie waiting for the shoals of tourists to 
approach their coasts. What a rush there is at them ! 
How the victims vainly dash from side to side, pro- 
testing that they don't want a guide here, and don't 
care about going there ; swearing that there is no enjoy- 
ment to be found in seeing a half-naked Arab skip 
down one pyramid and bound up another with incon- 
ceivable rapidity ; objecting violently to rowing up the 
Middle Lake in a rain-storm ; expostulating that they have 
no desire to ascend Snowdon in a fog ! But it is of no 
use. The desire to squeeze is a law of nature among 
innkeepers and lovers, and must be obeyed ; and in the 
autumn the shoals retire bedraggled, bewildered, be- 
devilled, robbed, pillaged, and sent empty away. Many 
a poor man, balancing his accounts after his hard-earned 
annual holiday, must truthfully say, ' I was a tourist g,nd 
ye took ,i^e in.' 

I may be excused for feeling strongly on this subject, 
for I have suffered much in the cause. Long-suffering 
and patient, I have trodden all the paths well-worn by 
pilgrim tourists' feet; have yaw ved through the inter- 
minable corridors of show places ; have accompanied with 
an occasional 'Dear me!' 'Ah!' 'Eeally!' the monotone 
of the guide explaining the names of peaks, mountains 
or waterfalls, and telling me absurd stories of lovers' 
leaps and devil's punchbowls, and all the rest of it ; have 
undergone ^ through uncomplaining weeks the established 
routine of cathedral and museum and picture gallery of 
continental towns ; have sought repose amid the dreamy 
languor of Oriental life, and been nearly hacksheeshed to 
death ; have worshipped at the shrine of Nature in many 
a. lovely spot, desecrated by the sandwich-papers, orange- 
peel, and broken bottles of former devotees ; have 



EXTORTION. 17 

ascended many a breezy hill to commune with my own 
heart and refresh my weary soul with a draught from 
the cool deep-flowing spiritual fountains of Hippocrene, 
and instead have refreshed it with ginger-beer, and had 
my photograph taken for a shilling ; and I have fought 
many a fierce battle with my landlord over the bill, and 
always come off second best. I have pretended not to 
see that the waiter expected half-a-crown, and have tried 
to dodge the housemaid and defraud guards,^ but I have 
invariably been worsted in the attempt. I therefore con- 
sider myself an authority on this subject, and unhesita- 
tingly assert that the most nefarious act that can be 
perpetrated upon the tourist is the extortion of money 
for merely looking at the beauties of Nature. I do not 
mind so much the inordinate demands of the landlord, 
the pestering and pestilent guides, the awful charges or 
the preposterous bills which meet you at every tu-^n ; but 
it is utterly unbearable to be asked to pay for the 
privilege of walking about and looking. ' It is all yours, 
do what you like with it,' says Nature in a wild country. 
' You may look but 'you must not touch,' civilised 
man may be suffered to say. But, not content with 
that restriction, he forbids you even to gaze. He will 
not 'withdraw the veil from the goddess save for a 
dollar or a shilling, as the case may be. Nothing is 
so abominable as the system of buying up scenery on 
speculation. The fencing- off of particular points of view, 
the dollar here and fifty cents there, the quarter in 
this place, the toll-bar at that, has it not disgusted every 
one who has visited that stupendous cataract Niagara ? 
I remember going to see a waterfall in the Catskill Moun- 
tains in New York State. It was said to be a prettv 
sight — in fact, ' real elegant.' I was in a beautiful frame oi 
mind, ready to expand to any extent, full of expectant 
c 



18 THE GREAT DIVIDE, 

gush and controlled enthusiasm. But how ruthlesslywas I 
disenchanted by finding that the water was dammed back, 
and could be turned on only by the application of a 
golden, or rather silver, key I Nothing is more revolting 
to our instincts, more disgraceful to our civilisation, than 
the system of trafficking in the charms with which Nature 
is so bountifully endowed. All honour then to the United 
States for having bequeathed as a free gift to man the 
beauties and curiosities of ' Wonderland.' It was an act 
worthy of a great nation, and she will have her reward in 
the praise of the present army of tourists, no less than in 
the thanks of the generations of them yet to come. 

In January, 1872, a Bill passed through both Houses 
of Congress and received the President's sanction, to set 
apart and consecrate in perpetuity as a National Park 
this wonderful region. Under the provisions of this Bill 
the land cannot be bought or settled ; no fees therefore 
can be charged by private speculators to future visitors 
for the privilege of viewing the marvels of Nature, 
which it is enacted shall for ever be free to all nations 
and all people. 

The area contained in the reservation measures 3,578 
square miles. It lies, speaking roughly, within the 110th 
and 111th meridians of west longitude, and the 44th and 
45th parallels of north latitude. The general elevation 
is about 6,000 feet above sea level, while the mountain 
ranges that hem in the narrow valleys on every side 
attain to a height of from 10,000 to 12,000 feet. The 
winters are too severe for stock-raising, and, as frosts 
occur at night during nearly every month of the year, 
agriculture is out of the question. The rocks are gene- 
rally volcanic, and there is but little chance of any 
mineral deposits being concealed in them. It is there- 
fore for ordinary purposes a valueless region, capable 



THE FIVE ROUTES TO WONDERLAND. 10 

of supporting only wild beasts and the wilder men 
who prey upon them. But, though useless for farm- 
ing, mining, or manufacturing purposes, many circum- 
stances have combined to render the National Park the 
most interesting and valuable district on the conti- 
nent. It may be that the Yosemite Valley surpasses 
it in picturesque beauty. But the National Park does 
not rely upon its scenery alone. It is endowed with 
many and various attractions. It contains the most 
wonderful remains of volcanic activity at present known 
to exist. The Mammoth Hot Springs of Gardiner's 
Eiver, and both the Geyser Basins, are situated in it. 
Entombed in its forests, at a height above the sea of 
7,788 feet, lies a large and most lovely lake, which 
is, with four exceptions,* the highest body of water of 
any considerable size in the world ; and in the snow that 
falls upon its summits are born four of the largest rivers 
of the continent. On the north are the sources of the 
Yellowstone ; on the west, those of the three forks of the 
Missouri ; to the south-west and south rise the springs of 
the Snake and Green Eivers, the former gaining the 
North Pacific, the latter finding its way to the Gulf of 
California; and lastly, on the south, head the numerous 
branches of Wind Eiver. Thus it is, as auctioneers would 
say, a most desirable park dike property ; and, if Govern- 
ment had not promptly stepped in, it would have been 
pounced upon by speculators, and the beauties of Nature, 
disposed of to the highest bidder, would have been 
retailed at so much a look to generations of future 
travellers. 

There are five routes by which ' Wonderland ' may 

* These four exceptions are lakes Titicaca in Peru, and Uros in Bolivia ; 
■which respectively are 12,874 and 12,359 feet ahove sea-level ; and lakes 
Manasasarowak and Rakas Tal in Thibet, both of which lie at the enormous 
elevation of 15,000 feet. 

c 2 



20 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

be reached. First, and most obvious, is the regular stage 
line running from Corinne, a town situated on Great Salt 
Lake, thirty-two miles west of Ogden, to Virginia City 
and Helena. Ogden is the junction of the Union Pacific 
and Central Pacific Eailways, and that fact is about the 
only feature of any interest in the place. Corinne is 
about 2,508 miles from New York ; up to that point 
the journey can be performed most comfortably in one 
of Pullman's cars ; but at Corinne the traveller will find 
himself in the position of the young bear, with all his 
sorrows to come. A glance at the map will show that 
the most convenient course to pursue is to go direct 
from Corinne to Virginia City by stage, passing up Malade 
Valley. There the traveller should fit out, secure a 
guide, purchase or hire pack animals, and proceed to the 
Geyser Basins. Having examined these, he will pass 
by the Yellowstone Lake, the Mud Springs, and the 
Hot Springs of Gardiner's Eiver ; and crossing Mount 
Washburn — the summit of the ' Great Divide ' — he will 
again emerge from the wilderness into civihsation at 
Bozeman. There he can take the stage, and return 
to Corinne, thereby making a round trip of it. The ap- 
proximate distances are — Corinne to Virginia City, 330 
miles ; Virginia City to Lower Geyser Basin, 100 miles ; 
Lower to Upper Basin and return, 20 miles ; Lower 
Geyser Basin to Mud Springs, 25 miles; Mud Springs to 
Hot Springs on Gardiner's Eiver, 50 miles ; or Lower 
Geyser Basin to Yellowstone Lake, 30 miles ; Lake to 
Mud Springs, 6 miles ; Hot Springs of Gardiner's Eiver 
to Boteler's Eanch, 40 miles ; Boteler's to Bozeman, 35 
miles ; and Bozeman to Corinne, 400 miles. This is the 
simplest, easiest, and cheapest road that can be chosen, 
but it is the least interesting. 

Secondly. Purchasing an outfit at Corinne or Salt Lake 



THE TETON BASIN. 21 

City, send it on to Fort Hall, Snake Kiver Bridge, or some 
other convenient starting-point ; take the before-mentioned 
stage line up Malade Valley till you join the outfit, and 
then launch out into the wilderness, taking a direction 
slightly to the east of north. After two or three days' 
travel through a dreary country of sage brush you will 
enter the Teton Basin, a fertile tract of 800 square miles 
in extent. Mr. Langford says of it : ' We entered the 
Teton Basin, which lay spread out before us like the land 
which Lot saw when he parted from Abraham. This 
basin. is more than 800 square miles in extent, is covered 
with perennial grasses, well watered by large streams, 
fringed with an abundant growth of cotton-wood, fur- 
nishing sufficient timber for all the practical purposes of 
life, while the adjacent mountains are covered with tall 
pines, furnishing the best timber in the w^orld.' From 
there you should visit the great Teton Mountains, of which 
the same authority states : ' The most northerly, or Grand 
Teton, which has received the name of and will hereafter 
be known as Mount Hayden, presents to the eye an out 
line very similar to that of the Matterhorn in the Alps. 
Its very appearance, unlike that of most of our moun- 
tains, seems to forbid all attempts to scale it, and for most 
of the distance the ascent can only be accomplished by 
chmbing with both feet and hands. The face of the 
mountain presents an angle of 45°, and frequently 60°, 
much more abrupt than the steepest stairs. Glaciers of 
greater or lesser dimensions are met with every few 
hundred feet, and in several instances they prove almost 
insurmountable. The irregular stratifications of the rocks 
were often such as to leave us with no support other than 
our hands, at points and turnings where a failure in our 
hold would have precipitated us hundreds of feet down 
the face of the mountain. At one or two points when 
D 



22 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

Hearing tlie summit, we would have been obliged to have 
abandoned the task but for the aid we received b}^ casting 
the rope over prominent projections, and pulling ourselves 
over them to places where we could obtain a secure foot- 
hold. In one of these efforts Mr. Stephenson came near 
losing his hold, and falling down a precipice nearly a 
thousand feet. Another of our company, while ascending 
along the edge of a glacier, losing his hold, slid down a 
smooth ridge of ice a distance of forty feet with fearful 
rapidity. His own presence of mind, in hastily throwing 
himself astride the edge of the glacier, and descending it 
in that position, caused him to fall into a snow-bed at the 
bottom, and on the extreme edge of the precipice. This 
saved him from falling at least 800 feet. Of nine of 
the company who commenced the ascent, Mr. Stephenson 
and myself alone were successful. We found on one of 
the buttresses, a little lower than the extreme top of the 
mountain, evidence that at some former period it had 
been visited by human beings. There was a circular in- 
closure about seven feet in diameter, formed by vertical 
slabs of rough granite, and about three feet in height, 
the interior of which was half filled with the detritus 
that long exposure to the elements had worn from these 
Avails. It could not have been constructed less than half a 
century ago, when Indians only inhabited these regions. 

' The summit of the Teton is very small, not more than 
30 by 40 feet in diameter, with a precipitous descent 
on all sides. Its neight by triangular measurement is 
13,858 feet. The view from it embraces the valley of 
the Snake Eiver, and territory contiguous, for a diameter 
of at least 160 miles. For grandeur, vastness, and variety, 
it is nowhere excelled in the region of the Eocky 
Mountains. Should the railroad to the Upper Yellowstone 
pass through this valley, the Teton range would form 



ON THE WAY. 23 

one of the attractive features of a visit to tliat wonderful 
country. 

' On our descent of the mountain, while yet at a height 
of 10,300 feet, we crossed a lake 600 yards long by 200 
wide, of perpetual ice, which in thickness was about 
3 feet, not unlike in character the description given of 
the most elevated glaciers of the Alps.' 

You should then take a straight course for the 
northern branch of Snake Eiver, which is called Henry's 
Fork, and, after ascending it up to Henry's Lake, 
cross the mountains by the Tyghee Pass, and enter the 
Valley of the Madison. Thence an easterly course will 
enable you to strike the trail from Virginia City to the 
Lower Geyser Basin, which passes within eight miles of 
the entrance to the canon of Gibbon's Fork. Or the 
Snake Eiver might be crossed in the proximity, but east- 
ward, of the great bend it makes about Market Lake ; 
and after fording Pierre's Fork the course would lie through 
Falls-Eiver Valley up to Beulah Lake. From that point 
the tourist would pass to Lewis Fork of Snake Eiver, and 
wind his away along that stream till Lewis Lake at the 
foot of Mount Sheridan was reached. There the trail 
separates into two branches, the first taking a north- 
westerly course to the Shoshone Geyser Basin, and 
thence, after crossing the main divide of the Eocky Moun- 
tains at an elevation of 8,117 feet above sea-level, conduct- 
ing you by the valley of the Fire Hole Eiver, or east fork 
of the Madison ; while the other, pursuing a north-easterly 
course, will conduct you, after crossing the main divide at 
a very easy gradient, to the Hot Springs of the Yellowstone 
Lake. As to distances — from Corinne to the neighbour- 
hood of Fort Hall is about 125 miles, and from there to the 
north fork of Snake Eiver about 60 miles. The following 
tables are from Mr. Hering's report to Professor Hayden : — 
d2 



i.'4 



THE GREAT DIVIDE. 





Distance fiom 

Henry's Fork, 

in miles. 


Distance from 
Corinne, 
in miles. 


Elevation, 
in feet. 


Henry's Fork Y alley 





145 


5,130 


Falls River .... 


13 


158 


5,670 


Entrance to Pass 


33 


178 


6,960 


Beulah Lakes .... 


39 


184 


7,525 


Union Fork .... 


45 


190 


7,800 


Lewis Lake .... 


56 


201 


7,828 


Hot Springs, Yellowstone Lake 


64 


209 


7,788 


Yellowstone Falls . 


94 


239 


7,700 


Shoshone Geyser Basin . 


m 


211 


7,880 


Divide . . . . , 


70 


215 


8,717 


Upper Geyser Basin 


80 


225 


7,390 


Lower Geyser Basin 


88 


233 


7,260 





Distance from 

Henry's Lake, 

in miles. 


Distance from 
Corinne, 
in miles. 


Elevation, 
in feet. 


Henry's Lake .... 





235 


6,443 


Tyghee Pass .... 


10 


245 


7,063 


Gibbon's Fork . 


33 


268 


6,808 


Lower Geyser Basin 


40 


275 


7,260 


Upper Geyser Basin 


48 


283 


7,390 


Divide 


58 


293 


8,717 


Shoshone Geyser Basin . 


62 


297 


7,881 


Lewis Lake .... 


72 


307 


7,835 


Hot Springs, Yellowstone Lake 


80 


315 


7,788 


Yellowstone Falls . 


110 


345 


7,700 



There can be no question that, if time be not an object, 
the latter route is very much to be preferred to the former, 
as it would exclude tlie long tiresome stage journey, and 
include a visit to the three Tetons. 

Thir'dly. If the map be consulted, a military post, by 



CAMP BROWN. "lb 

name Camp Brown, will be noticed, situated about 120 
miles north of Eawling Springs Station, on the Union 
Pacific Eailway, with which place it is connected by a 
good stage road. From Camp Brown to the Geyser 
Basin cannot be more than 130 or 140 miles. The trail 
is said to be easy, the scenery beautiful, and game pleu- 
tiful ; wood, water and grass, in fact, all the necessaries of 
life, are found in abundance. In 1873 Captain Jones 
surveyed a trail from Camp Brown to Fort Ellis, with a 
view to connecting the National Park and the mining 
districts and towns of Nortliern Wyoming and Montana 
with the railway, by a waggon road more direct than the 
existing one from Corinne. It had always been reported 
that the Yellowstone Lake was unapproachable from the 
south. Impassable mountain ranges, which an old trapper 
described as being so ' high and rugged that a crow 
couldn't fly over them,' were said to bar the way. But 
these obstacles turned out to be purely mythical. The 
expedition, after a most interesting journey, arrived safely 
at the Yellowstone Lake without having experienced any 
great difliculty, and having met with no serious obstacles 
to overcome in the way of steep gradients, 

The result of this investigation proves that the dis- 
tances from the Union Pacific Eailway to the National 
Park have been much over-estimated. It seems clear 
that from Point of Eocks Station a stage line could be 
made to the Yellowstone Lake via Camp Brown, 
which would not exceed 250 miles in length. The 
only drawback to this route is that it is sometimes 
very unsafe on account of Indians. It is actually in 
the Snake country, and the Snakes, or Shoshones, are 
friendly ; but, once clear of Camp Brown, there is no 
harbour of refuge to make for, nothing to keep in check 
and overawe the natives. Under these circumstances 



26 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

friendly Indians are just as likely to steal your horses as 
anybody else ; and I should not at all fancy being caught 
alone by half a dozen young braves eager to gain the 
distinction of having taken a scalp. Never trust an Indian, 
even though the tribe be at peace, unless you have very 
good reason to know that you can do so. It may seem 
surprising, but the women are at the bottom of all the 
mischief The chiefs, steady old fellows, long ago settled 
and done for, have arrived at the same conclusion as 
Solomon — that all things are vanity — and have transferred 
their affections from the fickle sex to the constant pipe, 
adopting as their motto ' anything for a quiet life ; ' so 
that these old dignitaries are most anxious to be at peace 
and receive their annuity goods regularly ; and they do 
their best to keep the young men quiet. But courage 
and craftiness are virtues highly prized in savage com- 
munities. The brightest smiles, the sweetest glances 
await the youth fortunate enough to have struck an 
enemy. He becomes a man ; his words are listened to 
with respect ; his friendship is courted ; his love not often 
refused. The old women tell the girls long stories of 
what men their forefathers were, and descant upon the 
doughty deeds they performed before daring to aspire 
to the hand of their mistresses. The vanity of the 
' dusky maiden' is aroused ; she determines to be not too 
cheaply bought or too easily won ; and she taunts and 
goads her lover into committing some act that frequently 
brings a terrible retribution, not upon him alone unfor- 
tunately, but upon whole families and tribes of innocent 
persons. 

Can we not imagine the scene? The lovers pacing 
the moonlit sward chequered with the drooping shadows 
of the pines, the rustle of the traihng robe, the twinkle 
of the little naked feet among the flowers, the glance of 



WOMAN'S EYE. 27 

the tender eyes, the throbbing pulse and beating heart, the 
half-concealed outhne of the little swelHng bosom heaving 
in responsive agitation, the gentle pressure of the hand, 
the warm soft rounded form yielding to the persuasive 
arm, the whispered ' Darling, wilt thou be mine ? Fly, oh 
fly with me to yonder grove, there on soft carpeting of 
moss to plight our troth and swear eternal constancy.' 
And the prudent reply, ' Yes, dearest, I am sure it would 
be very charming, but what would papa say ? How many 
scalps a year have you got ? How many horses can you 
steal ? Have you taken any ponies lately, nice piebald 
ones ? ' Fancy his conscious blush of shame, and her in- 
dignant ' What ! have you killed nobody yet ? Unhand 
me, villain ! Is it thus you dare to address the daughter 
of the " Skunk that creeps in the grass "? ' 

No ! I don't think the young brave is to blame. What 
can he do ? ' Needs must when the devil drives ; ' and, if 
the old song of St. Anthony's temptation is to be credited, 
there lurks in the sweet smile and shyly inviting glance 
of woman the most dangerous and irresistible imp of 
the whole satanic crew. 

For these reasons, when he is in pursuit of a particu- 
larly lovely or hard-hearted damsel, I should prefer keeping 
out of the way of the enamoured swain. So it is not wise 
to trust too much even to the Snakes. But the country 
is liable also to incursions of the Sioux, those scourges of 
the plains, who are so much dreaded by the Snakes that 
it would never do to trust to the latter for escort or pro- 
tection. They would most likely abandon you upon the 
first sign of danger. These remarks apply only to small 
parties ; but ten or twelve men might, except under 
very extraordinary circumstances, travel with perfect 
safety. 

Fourthly. There is what may be called the Missouri 



28 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

route. Until late in summer the river is navigable to 
Fort Benton, which is distant from Helena about 80 or 90 
miles by stage road ; and by taking this road the tra- 
veller would have an opportunity of visiting, if he so 
desired, the great Falls of the Missouri. From Helena 
either Bozeman or Virginia City may be readily reached 
by stage. The transit from Bismarck, a town situated on 
the Missouri and the present terminus of the Northern 
Pacific Eailway, to Benton would occupy ten to fifteen 
days. Much interesting country would be traversed, 
especially the mauvaises terres, or * bad lands ' of 
Dakotah ; but it would be a tedious journey, and devoid 
of comfort. A better plan would be to disembark at 
Carrol, near the mouth of the Mussel Shell, and, having 
ordered horses to be in readiness for you, to take the 
A/aggon trail from there to the Crow Agency at the great 
bend of the Yellowstone Eiver, and thence to Fort Ellis 
and Bozeman. The total length of the land journey 
would be about 150 miles, through a prairie country 
abounding in antelope and buffalo. The river is navi- 
gable to Benton only at high water, but communication 
is kept up pretty regularly with Carrol. It is only at 
extreme low water that the steamers fail to reach the 
mouth of the Mussel Shell ; and then the traffic is carried 
on in Mackinaw boats. 

A very good plan for a party starting, say early in 
June from England, would be to sail for Quebec, the 
prettiest and pleasantest town in the Dominion, and 
thence to go by steamer to Montreal, up the noble river 
St. Lawrence, and through the lovely scenery of the 
Thousand Islands to Toronto. From there by rail to 
Colling wood, a journey of only four hours, and then 
again by steamer across the great lakes Huron and 



THE POETRY OF MOTION. 29 

Superior, through the Sault St. Mary ; skirting the wildly 
picturesque noi'th shore of Lake Superior, and touching 
at various places, Bruce Mines, Michipicotton, Neepigon 
— famous for trout — Silver Islet, Prince Arthur's Land- 
ing, Fort William, Pigeon Eiver, &c. &c., to Fond du 
Lac, now called Duluth. The course would then lie over 
the embryonic Northern Pacific Eailway to Bismarck, and 
up the Missouri to Carrol. From Collingwood to Duluth 
would take about a week ; Bismarck is about 440 miles 
from Duluth, and the ascent of the river would occupy 
about 10 to 15 days. 

The mention of the north shore and of Prince 
Arthur's Landing, which is one of the gateways to the 
'North-West Territory,' leads me to the fifth direction 
from which the National Park may be reached — namely, 
from the British possessions. 

Among all the modes of progression hitherto invented 
by restless man, there is not one that can compare in 
respect of comfort and luxury with travelling in a birch- 
bark canoe. It is the poetry of progression. Along the 
bottom of the boat are laid blankets and bedding ; a 
sort of wicker-work screen is sloped against the middle 
thwart, affording a delicious support to the back ; and 
indolently, in your shirt sleeves if the day be warm, 
or well covered with a blanket if it is chilly, you sit 
or lie on this most luxurious of couches, and are pro- 
pelled at a rapid rate over the smooth surface of a lake 
or down the swift current of some stream. If you want 
exercise, you can take a paddle yourself. If you prefer 
to be inactive, you can lie still and placidly survey the 
scenery, rising occasionally to have a shot at a wild 
duck : at intervals reading, smoking, and sleeping. Sleep 
indeed you will enjoy most luxuriously, for the rapid 



30 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

bounding motion of the canoe as she leaps forward at 
every impulse of the crew, the sharp quick beat of the 
paddles on the water, and the roll of their shafts against 
the gunwale, with the continuous hiss and ripple of the 
stream cleft by the curving prow, combine to make 
a more soothing soporific than all the fabrications of 
poppy and mandragora that can be found in the pharma- 
copoeia of civilisation. 

Dreamily you lie side by side — you and your friend 
— lazily gazing at the pine-covered shores and wooded 
islands of some iniknown lake, the open book unheeded 
on your knee ; the half-smoked pipe drops into your lap ; 
your head sinks gently back ; and you wander into dream- 
land, to awake presently and find yourself sweeping round 
the curve of some majestic river, whose shores are blazing 
with the rich crimson, brown, and gold of the maple 
and other hard- wood trees in their autumn dress. 

Presently the current quickens. The best man shifts 
his place from the stern to the bow, and stands ready 
with his long-handled paddle to twist the frail boat 
out of reach of hidden rocks. The men's faces glow 
with excitement. Quicker and quicker flows the stream, 
breaking into little rapids, foaming round rocks, and rising 
in tumbling waves over the shallows. At a w^ord from 
the bowman the crew redouble their efforts, the paddle 
shafts crash against the gunwale, the spray flies beneath 
the bending blades. The canoe shakes and quivers 
through all its fibres, leaping bodily at every stroke. 

Before you is a seething mass of foam, its whiteness 
broken by horrid black rocks, one touch against whose 
jagged sides would rip the canoe into tatters and hurl you 
into eternity. Your ears are full of the roar of waters ; 
waves leap up in all directions, as the river, maddened at 



EXCITING MOMENTS. 31 

obstruction, hurls itself through some narrow gorge. 
The bowman stands erect to take one look in silence, 
noting in that critical instant the line of deepest water ; 
then bending to his work, with sharp, short words of com- 
mand to the steersman, he directs the boat. The canoe 
seems to pitch headlong into space. Whack ! comes a great 
wave over the bow ; crash ! comes another over the side. 
The bowman, his figure stooped, and his knees planted 
firmly against the side, stands, with paddle poised in both 
hands, screaming to the crew to paddle hard ; and the crew 
cheer and shout with excitement in return. You, too, get 
wild, and feel inclined to yell defiance to the roaring hiss- 
ing flood that madly dashes you from side to side. After 
the first plunge you are in a bewildering whirl of waters. 
The shore seems to fly past you. Crash ! You are right 
on that rock, and (I don't care who you are) you will feel 
your heart jump into your mouth, and you will catch the 
side with a grip that leaves a mark on your fingers after- 
wards. No ! With a shriek of command to the steers- 
man, and a plunge of his paddle, the bowman wrenches 
the canoe out of its course. Another stroke or two, 
another plunge forward, and with a loud exulting yell 
from the bowman, who flourishes his paddle round his 
head, you pitch headlong down the final leap, and with a 
grunt of relief from the straining crew glide rapidly into 
still water. 

Through the calm gloaming, through the lovely hours 
of moonlit .night you glide, if the stream is favourable 
and the current safe ; the crew of Metis^ or French half- 
breeds, asleep, wrapped in their white capotes, all but the 
steersman, Avho nods over his paddle and croons to him- 
self some old Normandy or Breton song. Or, landing in 
the evening, you struggle back from the romance of leaf 



'62 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

tints and sunset glows to the delicious savouriness of a 
stew, composed of fat pork, partridges, potatoes, onions, 
fish, and lumps of dough ; and having ballasted yourself 
with this compound, and smoked the digestive pipe, sleep 
on sweet pine-tops till you're leveed by the steersman in 
the morning, when you pursue your way, not miserable 
and cross, as you would be at home after such a mess 
of pottage, but bright, happy, and cheerful ; capable of 
enjoying to the full the glories of the daybreak, watching 
the watery diamonds from the paddle-blades Hashing 
in the sun, and listening to the echoing notes of A la 
claire fontaine^ or some other French -Canadian song. 

Dear me ! What a lot might be written about Fort . 
William, the Kamanistiquoia Eiver, and the lovely chest- 
nut-tinted falls upon it, of the hospitality of Mr. M'Intyre, 
and of the great old days gone by of the North -West 
Fur Company, when the traders were little kings in 
Montreal ; when the old hall at Fort William echoed the 
voices of over a hundred retainers of the Company at 
a time ; when fleets of large north-west canoes, manned 
by twelve men each, would come up the still reaches from 
the lakes, and flotillas of lighter vessels, laden with costly 
furs from far-distant northern wilds, would sweep down 
its rapid current, their half-savage crews imitating the 
cry of the beast re})resenting the department from which 
they came ! 

But I have already rambled out of the way too much. 
All I meant to say was, that canoe travelling is very 
pleasant ; but it is somewhat expensive. If therefore a 
party of friends, not very particular about expense, 
would like a canoe journey, and not object to a long ride 
or drive, I should advise them to take the last given 
directions as far as Prince Arthur's Landing or Fort 



ANOTHER ROUTE. 33 

William, and go up by canoe to Fort Garry, visiting 
Kakabeka Falls, passing through the soft beauties of the 
Lake of the Woods and Eainy Lake and Eiver, stopping 
a day or two at Fort Francis, if many lodges of Chippe- 
ways or Saul tea ux happen to be congregated there, and 
traversing the wild grandeur of the Winipeg Eiver. 
From Fort Garry they could either ride or drive in 
about three weeks to Fort Benton, following the Assini- 
boin Eiv^er, and shaping their course gradually south by 
Q'appelle Ijakes ; or else, riding up the valley of the 
Saskatchewan to Carlton, they could thence strike due 
south to the South Saskatchewan, and onwards by the 
Cypress Hills to Milk Eiver, and so to Benton. Good 
men, understanding the natives and well acquainted 
with the country, are to be found at Fort Garry ; and 
there ought to be no danger from Indians, except per- 
liaps a little just in crossing the boundary. But the risk 
would be so slight that it is scarcely worth considering. 
Indians who are hostile in the States are friendly in 
the British possessions ; and, though going from Benton 
north might be uncomfortable, I should have little appre- 
hension in crossing to Benton from the Canada side in 
the company of a single half-breed upon whom I could 
rely. 

Finally, you may approach the Park from Walla 
Walla on the west ; but, as I personally know nothing 
about that country, I think the less I say about it the 
better. I beheve there is a road following the Hell-Gate 
and Bitter-Eoot Eivers; the Indian tribes are friendly, 
and the traveller would have the advantage of journeying 
through a country little known to civilised man, and 
reported to be fidl of game. Further than this deponent 
sayeth not. 



34 



THE GREAT DIVIDE. 



HaviDg thus attempted to ' locate ' the Geyser region, 
and describe the paths leading thereto, I shall proceed to 
take up my parable and follow my trail in memory from 
Salt Lake City to Wonderland and back. 




Pi-ta-ve-sha-a-du, phincipal chikf of thk pawnkeh. 



35 



CHAPTER II. 

OFF TO THE GEYSERS. 

My first act after making up ray mind to undertake 
the trip to Geyserland was to write to my old friend, 
hunting companion and guide, Mr. John Omohondro, 
better known as Texas Jack, and endeavour to secure his 
services for the expedition. Jack acd I in company 
had run wapiti and buffalo many times upon the plains. 
I had made his acquaintance some years ago on my first 
hunt undertaken under the auspices of another celebrated 
frontier-man, William Cody, well known to Western fame 
by the sobriquet of Buffalo Bill as an intrepid trailer of 
Indians and Government scout. Jack started for me 
my first bison, a solitary savage old bull, down on 
one of the tributaries of the Republican ; under his 
auspices I slew my first elk also, and, though it was 
not a very large one, I thought it the most magnifi- 
cent animal the world had ever produced ; together we 
once made the most successful run at elk that I have 
ever heard of, and enjoyed a day's sport such as I shall 
never see again, but to which I hope to allude later 
on in this volume, if space will permit me. Many a long 
day had we hunted together, and been in at the deaths 
of numerous antelopes and white- tail and black- tail deer ; 
and many a waggon-load of meat, the produce of our 
chase, have he and I sent into the Fort. I cannot tell 



36 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

you exactly what fort it was, sporting reader, because 
if there be any game left in that locality, which I very 
much doubt, I want selfishly to reserve it for my own 
especial benefit, for I hope to shoot there once again 
before I die. 

I had had plenty of experience therefore of Jack, and 
knew him to be just the man I wanted ; but since those 
merry days among the sandhills and on the plains, he 
had settled down in life and married ; and whether he 
could be induced to leave his wife and comfortable home, 
and to brave the hardships and dangers of a hunting or 
exploring trip to the far West, I was very much in doubt. 
I was therefore much pleased one fine day, as I was 
lying dozing during the heat of noon in my tent, pitched 
, close to the never-melting snows on Long's Peak, to re- 
ceive a letter from Jack, forwarded from the post-office 
of the rising httle town of Longmont, saying that he was 
ready for anything, that he w^ould be delighted to come, 
and was prepared to accompany me anywhere. He 
added that I should find him at Charpiot's Eestaurant, 
Denver, in a couple of days. 

Jack was a great acquisition to our party, which con- 
sisted, besides myself, of Dr. G. Kingsley ; my cousin and 
good friend, Captain C. Wynne ; Maxwell, a gentleman of 
colour, who fulfilled the important functions of barber and 
cook ; Campbell, my henchman or servant, a limber- 
limbed lengthy Highlandman, whose legs were about as 
long as his drawl ; and last, but not least, in his own esti- 
mation at any rate, if not in mine, the faithful com- 
panion of many wanderings, my much -beloved coUey 
dog ' Tweed.' 

Maxwell had been with me before in the sunny South, 
sailing down the broad reaches of the Indian river, 
camped among the oak and palmetto scrub fringing the 



L USTR US TEXAS J A CK, 37 

sands of Merrit's Island, or on some hummock under 
the shade of the pines and pahns of fragrant Florida ; 
and I knew him to be a good cook, and took him with 
me gladly, but with some misgivings as to whether he 
could stand the cold. Campbell was fresh from his 
native hills. Wynne and I were old friends, who knew 
by experience that we should get on well together. On 
this occasion, however, he caused me a fearful amount 
of anxiety, for which I hope he has repented long ago in 
sackcloth and ashes ; for he was delayed a month in 
England, and after waiting as long as possible, I was 
forced to start without him. On three separate occasions 
we halted a week for him, and it was more by good luck 
than by good management that he succeeded eventually 
in joining us in Montana : but I must admit that by 
his cheerful and genial companionship he subsequently 
atoned fully for all previous misdeeds. Dr. Kingsley 
and I were not strangers, for we had travelled together 
in America before ; had hunted in company, eaten out of 
the same battered iron pot, and drunk out of the same 
pannikin. Altogether, our party contained within itself 
the elements necessary to ensure, if not a successful, at any 
rate an enjoyable trip. 

It was late in the month of July when I got Jack's 
letter, and, acting upon it, I on the following day bade 
adieu to the happy hunting-grounds of Estes Park and 
drove down to Denver, the capital of Colorado, a dis- 
tance of 60 miles. While still at some distance from the 
town I became aware of a great coruscation, which I 
took to proceed from a comet or some other meteoro- 
logical eccentricity, but which on approaching nearer 
resolved itself into the diamond shirt-studs and breast- 
pin shining in the snowy ' bosom ' of my friend Texas 
Jack, who had already arrived from the classic east 

E 



38 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

winds of Boston to share the fortunes of the trip. Pork 
and beans and pickled cucumbers had failed to sour his 
genial smile ; aesthetic dissipation had not dulled the 
lustre of his eye. Jack at Denver in broadcloth and 
white linen was the same Jack that I had last seen upon 
the North Platte, grimy in an old buckskin suit redolent 
of slaughtered animals and bodily deliquescence. How 
we did ' haver ' and talk over old times that night, occa- 
sionally making enquiries as to the tenor of the historical 
telegram sent by the Governor of North Carolina to the 
Governor of South Carolina, which I may as well men- 
tion is said to have been to the effect that it ' was a long 
time between drinks ! ' Far into the night we discussed 
our future plans, and finally decided that as General 
Sheridan, who had kindly given me the benefit of his 
advice in Chicago, would by no means recommend the 
route via Camp Brown, which he considered dangerous 
for a small party that year, owing to hostilities having 
broken out with the Sioux, our best plan would be to 
take the ordinary road from Corinne by stage. 

Corinne is, as I have already mentioned in the pre- 
ceding chapter, picturesquely situated on the shores of 
Great Salt Lake about 32 miles west of Ogden, the 
terminus, or rather junction of the Union Pacific and 
Central Pacific Eailways. Deseret, or, as it is now univer- 
sally called, Salt Lake City, is two or three hours distant 
by train south of Ogden. It was therefore a little out of 
our way ; but as the office of the Montana stage line was 
there, and as it offered by far the most convenient market 
for us to fit out at, we made up our minds to betake our- 
selves first of all to Salt Lake City. Our movements after 
that were to be guided a good deal by circumstances. 
Our general intention was to stage it from Corinne to 
Virginia City in Montana, and from there to get on as 



A JAR OF MIXED HUMAN PICKLES. 39 

"best we could to Fort Ellis or Bozeman in the same terri- 
tory. There we proposed to purchase horses, mules, and 
whatever was necessary for the expedition. If Wynne 
joined by the time we were ready to take the field, we 
meant to have gone straight on from Fort Ellis to the 
Geyser district, and, having seen the wonders of that 
country, to have devoted some time to hunting in the 
mountains about the sources of Clark's Fork of the Yellow- 
stone. We were obliged, however, to modify our plans 
a little, and do our hunting first, in order to give Wynne 
an opportunity of overtaking us. 

Having a great antipathy to stage travelling in promis- 
cuous company, I determined, throwing prudence to the 
winds, to make myself as comfortable as circumstances 
would allow, regardless of expense ; and accordingly I 
sent Jack on ahead to Salt Lake City to negotiate terms 
and charter the entire vehicle for our own sole and par- 
ticular use, while we took our ease in our inn at Denver. 
On receiving a telegram from him to say ' all right,' we 
joined him at Deseret, and spent a couple of days in that 
city of saintly sinners, making a few necessary purchases, 
such as saddles, bufialo robes, and bridles. 

Deseret is a very pretty town, beautifully situated on 
a plain almost surrounded by spurs of the Wahsatch Eange. 
It looks clean from a distance, and on inspection it 
justifies its appearance. Perhaps the houses are whiter 
than the characters of some of its inhabitants. Formerly 
it enjoyed a very evil reputation ; but, allowing for the 
discordant elements that mmgle there, it may be said to 
be a tolerably respectable, though very pecuHar place. It 
is like a jar of mixed human pickles, the population being 
composed of a conglomeration of saints and gentiles, 
elders and sinners, Mormons and Christians, and very 
much ^ mixed' indeed. But there is no occasion now to 

E 2 



40 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

give any description of Mormonism and the Mormons. 
Everybody knows all about that. 

I enjoyed myself very well, and was introduced by 
Jack to many estimable acquaintances, and to many 
curious scenes. But I am not sure that on the whole I 
benefited much, pecuniarily, from his assistance. True, I 
acquired a considerable amount of second-hand renown, 
and, like the moon, shone with borrowed splendour. Jack, 
was dressed in beaded buckskins and moccasins, fringed 
leggings and broad felt hat. Jack is a tall, straight, and 
handsome man, and in walking through the well-watered 
streets of Deseret in his company I felt the same proud 
conscious glow that pervades the white waistcoat of the 
male debutant when for the first time he walks down St. 
James's Street, arm in arm with the best dressed and most 
fashionable man about town. It was obvious to all that 
I was on terms of equality with a great personage, and 
on that account cigars were frequent and drinks free. 
But I don't know that there was any great reduction in 
buffalo robes and saddles. 

All our preparations being at length completed, we, 
on a lovely afternoon in the first week in August, took 
the train from Salt Lake City, and, after changing cars 
at Ogden, arrived at Cormne, where we slept at a very 
comfortable little inn. We knew it would be our last 
night in bed for some time, so we made the most of the 
luxury. The following morning, at 6.30 a.m., we piled 
ourselves and traps into a lumbering, heavy, old-fashioned 
stage-coach, and, under the guidance of a whisky bottle 
and an exceedingly comical driver, started for Virginia 
City. Jehu was a very odd man and wore a very odd 
head-dress, consisting of a chimney-pot hat elongated by 
some strange process into a cone, having the brim turned 
down and ventilated by large gashes cut in the sides. He 



COACHING DIFFICULTIES. 41 

was very garrulous, and, I grieve to add, profane. I 
might now give you, reader, the ' Comical Coachman,' 
and introduce the story of Mr. Greeley ; but, as I am not 
inclined to cause needless suffering, I refrain. The coach 
was a strange vehicle, mostly composed of leather. It 
was decorated with decayed leather ; the sides were 
leather curtains ; the top was leather ; it was hung upon 
leather straps, and thongs of the same material dangled 
from the roof. 

The arrangements along the road are not good. The 
accommodation for travellers at the stations, and the food 
supplied, are, with one or two exceptions, infamously bad. 
The horses are grass-fed all through the summer, and the 
poor brutes are quite unfit for the work they are called 
upon to perform. As they are generally out grazing on 
the prairie or hill-side when a coach arrives at a changing 
place, and have to be driven in and caught, a great deal 
of time is lost and delays are frequent. In fact nobody 
dreams of being in time ; and, unless you arrive at the 
station for changing teams six or eight hours or half a day 
late, you will probably find no one at the ranch. The 
boys will have gone out visiting or shooting, not expecting 
to see you so soon. The consequence is that meals get 
very ' mixed ; ' you find yourself having dinner at 7 a.m., 
supping at noon, and breakfasting somewhere about sun- 
down, or in the middle of the night. As all the repasts 
are much the same, consisting of beefsteaks, pork, pota- 
toes, hot biscuit (a hot roll is in America termed a 
biscuit, and what we call biscuit is there denominated a 
cracker) and coffee, this dislocation of meals does not so 
very much signify. 

The interior of the coach was occupied by three seats, 
the spaces between which we filled in with baggage, and 
over the comparatively level surface thus formed we were 



42 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

shot about like shuttles in a loom for four days and nights. 
The vehicle laboured a great deal in the heavy roads, 
producing at first in most of us a feeling of sea-sickness,, 
which gradually wore off. Friday, our first day out, was 
not pleasantly spent. The sun was intensely powerful. 
The road, many inches deep in alkaline dust, traversed a 
level plain, following the course of Bear Eiver ; and there 
was nothing to break the dull monotony of the scene, 
except a few stunted artemisia and sage bushes, and very 
distant views of mountains. Clouds of the salt dust, 
agitated by the sultry breeze, covered our clothes, and 
filled our eyes, ears, noses and mouths ; dinner-time and 
tea-time were hailed with delight, and a little private 
eating and drinking was also indulged in to while away 
the tedious hours. There was no difficulty about eating, 
but to take a drink amidst the heavings and kickings of the 
carriage, without swallowing bottle and all, required con- 
siderable skill. 

At length the long-wished-for shades of evening began 
to fall. The shadows of the mountains crept over the 
plain. The wind died away ; the clouds of white powder 
settled down ; the delicious crisp coolness of a summer 
night at those high altitudes succeeded to the enervating 
suffocating heat of day, and refreshed our irritated nerves. 
Eolling ourselves in blankets, we stretched out as well as 
we could upon the baggage and passed a very tolerable 
night. It was bright moonlight, and I lay awake for a 
long time watching the big jack-rabbits scudding over 
the plain, and admiring the jovial grinning countenance 
of the full moon ; till, finally, in spite of the jolting, I 
fell into a sound sleep, broken, however, occasionally by 
Tweed — who with almost human mahgnity would lie 
down on my stomach instead of in the place allotted to 
him — and by the piercing Indian yells which the driver 



INSPIRITING MORN. 43 

emitted to announce his approach to each station for 
changing horses. 

Towards evening the plain narrowed into a valley, 
and the road became fearfully rough, littered with blocks 
of stone, and pitted with holes full of water. The depth 
of these pools not being properly laid down upon any 
chart, our driver was obliged to get off and sound them 
with his whip-handle, thereby delaying us very much. 
During the night we crossed the mountains, and a little 
before sun-rise awoke to find ourselves at a small change 
station close to the summit, and near to where the road 
branches off to Fort Hall. 

Many people prefer sun-sets to sun-rises. I must 
confess that, notwithstanding the superior gorgeousness of 
colour of the evening hour, to me there is something 
infinitely sad about the decline of day ; all things, vege- 
table as well as animal, sink so wearily to rest ; whereas 
with the morn come hopes renewed and energies restored. 
The grass is green and cool, and the flowers, fresh after 
their bath of dew, look saucily up at the sun. The birds 
sing ; all animals, save those that prey by night, re- 
joice ; and new life seems to thrill through the frame of 
man. 

On this particular Saturday morning the breaking of 
the day was very beautiful. There had been a slight 
frost. Not a single shred of vapour obscm-ed the perfectly 
cloudless sky, not a breath of wind disturbed the marvel- 
lous transparency of the atmosphere. We stood on a 
very elevated plateau close to a solitary shanty. In the 
background were some half-dozen native lodges, from 
each of which rose in a straight line a thin blue thread 
of smoke. Crouched on the ground, his blanket drawn 
up over his mouth and nose, sat one Indian, and the 
gaunt figure of another was discernible stalking towards 



44 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

US in the rapidly decreasing gloom. The western con- 
stellations were still brightly shining, but the splendour 
of the morning star was waning before an intenser light. 

The dawn approaches, flinging over all the eastern sky 
a veil of the most delicate primrose, that warms into the 
rich lustre of the topaz, hiding the sad eyes of the fading 
stars. The yellow light sweeping across the sky is 
followed by a lovely rosy tint, which, slowly creeping 
over the arch of heaven, dyes the earth and firmament 
with its soft colouring, and throws back the mountains 
and valleys into deepest gloom. Stronger and stronger 
grows the lusty morn. Higher and warmer spreads the 
now crimson flood ; timid Nature, with hot conscious blush, 
drops from her burning brow the veil of night, and 
shrinking, yet eager, steps forth in naked loveliness to 
meet the sun. The mountains all flush up ; then blaze 
into sudden life. A great ball of fire clears the horizon, 
and strikes broad avenues of white light across the plain. 
The sun is up ! and it is day. What is more, the horses 
are hitched ; and, with a cry of ' all aboard,' away we roll 
to undergo another twelve hours' dust and heat. 

Not very far from Fort Hall the road crosses Snake 
Eiver at a point where the waters have cut through a 
basaltic outflow, and exposed a remarkably fine section 
to view. The basalt is columnar and regular, full of 
' pot-holes ' of various sizes, some being two or three 
feet deep, though only ^nq or six inches in diameter ; 
others, broad and shallow, occasionally containing the 
stones that, whirled constantly round by the action of 
water, have worn out the cavities. We passed a good 
deal of volcanic matter, which appears to have been 
originally poured out into water, and covered with a de- 
posit of fine volcanic sand and ashes. The evidences of 
water action are numerous. The whole great plain and 



WHITE VERSUS BLACK. 45 

valley of the Snake Eiver is, I presume, formed by erosion, 
the ' Three Buttes ' and other detached fragments remain- 
ing as monuments to show the former level of the land. 
More recent signs, too, are abundantly to be seen. Several 
clearly defined old beaches, indicating the various levels at 
which the waters of the lakes have at different periods 
stood, are noticeable on the sides of low spurs and 
bluffs. Large districts look as if the waters had but 
quite lately retired from them, and even now great tracts 
are submerged after heavy rains. I should say that a 
very low dam across the rivers draining it would suffice 
to flood the whole country, and turn it into another great 
Salt Lake or inland sea. 

Sunday was by no means a day of rest to us. We 
were all getting stiff and tired with incessant jolting, and 
longed to be at our journey's end. Tweed became so 
disgusted that he yielded to the seductions of a most un- 
desirable acquaintance picked up at dinner-time, and 
could not or would not be found when the coach started. 
He came on by the next stage, and arrived in Virginia 
City ' sober and sorry for it.' We were all becoming 
dilapidated, and Maxwell especially so, for in addition to 
the ordinary fatigues of the journey he had also under- 
gone the perils of starvation and assassination. Having a 
very proper antipathy to sit at the same table as his master, 
and there being but one table prepared for travellers, he 
ate nothing at all at first. When I discovered the cause, I 
recommended him sooner than starve to sit down with us, 
which he accordingly did at breakfast on Sunday ; upon 
which up jumps an irascible Texan who was going to drive 
us, and, smashing his fist down on the table, swears that he 
is not going to eat with any wretched nigger. And, under 
ordinary circumstances, he would have been right. White 
and black should not associate ; both are excellent, but 



46 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

mutually disagreeable to each other. The perfume of the 
rose is sweet, the savour of the onion delicious ; but 
each possesses in respect to the other a most incompatible 
aroma. 

We passed in the afternoon through a strange wild 
gap in the mountains, and emerged into another inter- 
minable plain bounded by nothing anywhere, except on 
the west, where rose the savage rocky crest of the ' Big 
Hole ' ^ Mountains, a continuation of the ' Flat Head ' 
range ; in the hidden recesses of whose valleys the lordly 
moose still linger in considerable numbers, and among 
whose inaccessible crags the wild mountain goat finds a 
congenial home. On the east the general level is broken 
only by the jagged tooth-like outlines of the distant Tetons. 

Nothing is more extraordinary and wearisome than 
the levelness of the road. From Corinne to Virginia 
City you drive along a series of apparently perfectly flat 
plains, connected with each other by short canons and 
valleys. Occasionally the road ascends, but by a very 
easy gradient. There are no precipices, no torrents, no 
avalanches, no glaciers ; nothing grand, terrible, or dan- 
gerous. The idea that you are surmounting a portion of 
a great and important watershed, that you are crossing 
the backbone of the continent, and scaling a vast moun- 
tain range, appears preposterous. A field-day in the 
Long Valley, Aldershot, towards the end of July, with its 
concomitants of heat, dust, flatness, and general disagree- 
abihty (if there be such a word), resembles the passage 
of the Alps by Napoleon I. just about as much as does 
the ideal crossing of the great Eocky Mountains resemble 
the tame reality. 

As I do not consider it a wise thing to cook stories 
or varnish facts when one is sure to be found out, I 
must beg the reader to excuse my unfolding any hair- 



VIRGINIA CITY. 47 

breadth escapes, and to suffer me to introduce him or 
her thus prosaically to Virginia City, where we arrived 
on Monday morning, in fair condition, but by no means 
according to sample, if one had been taken of us on leaving 
Deseret. 

Virginia City. Good Lord ! What a name for the 
place ! We had looked forward to it during the journey 
as to a sort of haven of rest, a lap of luxury ; a Capua in 
which to forget our woes and weariness ; an Elysium 
where we might be washed, clean-shirted, rubbed, sham- 
pooed, barbered, curled, cooled, and cock-tailed. Not a 
bit of it ! Not a sign of Capua about the place ! There 
might have been laps, but there was no luxury. A street of 
straggling shanties, a bank, a blacksmith's shop, a few dry 
goods stores, and bar-rooms, constitute the main attractions 
of the 'city.' A gentleman had informed me that Virginia 
city contained brown stone -front houses and paved streets, 
equal, he guessed, to any Eastern town. How that man 
did lie in his Wellingtons ! The whole place was a 
delusion and a snare. One of the party was especially 
mortified, for he had been provided with a letter of intro- 
duction to some ladies from whose society he anticipated 
great pleasure ; but when he came to inquire he found, 
to his intense disgust, that they were in Virginia 
City, Nevada^ ' ten thousand miles away ! ' However, 
we soon became reconciled to our fate. We found 
the little inn very clean and comfortable ; we dined on 
deer, antelope, and bear meat, a fact which raised hopes 
of hunting in our bosoms ; and the people were ex- 
ceedingly civil, kind, obliging, and anxious to assist 
strangers in any possible way, as, so far as my experience 
goes of America, and indeed of all countries, they invari- 
ably are as soon as you get off the regular lines of travel. 
Virginia City is situated on Alder Gulch. It is sur- 



48 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

rounded by a dreary country, resembling the more 
desolate parts of Cumberland, and consisting of intermi- 
nable waves of steep low liills covered with short, 
withered grass. I went out for a walk on the afternoon 
of our arrival, and was most disagreeably impressed. I 
could not get to the top of anything, and consequently 
could obtain no extended view. I kept continually 
climbing to the summit of grassy hills, only to find other 
hills, grassier and higher, surrounding me on all 
sides. The wind swept howling down the combes, and 
whistled shrilly in the short, wiry herbage ; large masses of 
ragged-edged black clouds were piled up against a leaden 
sky ; not a sign of man or beast was to be seen. It began 
to snow heavily, and I was glad to turn my back to the 
storm and scud for home. 

Alder Gulch produced at one time some of the richest 
placer workings of the continent. It was discovered in 
1863, and about 30 millions of dollars' worth of gold 
have been won from it. Of late years very little has been 
done, and at present the industrious Chinaman alone pur- 
sues the business of re-washing the old dirt heaps, and 
making money where any one else would starve. In truth, 
he is a great washerwoman, is your Chinaman, equally 
successful with rotten quartz and dirty shirts. Alder 
Gulch is about twelve miles in length and half a mile 
broad. It is closed at the head by a remarkable hme- 
stone ridge, the highest point of which is known as ' Old 
Baldy Mountain,' and it leads into the Jefferson Fork of 
the Missouri. Along the sides of the valley may be seen 
many patches of black basalt, and the bottom is covered 
entirely by drift, composed of material, weathered and 
water-worn out of metamorphic rocks, the fragments 
varying in size from large boulders to fine sand and gravel. 
In this drift the float gold is found. In Montana the 



GOLD! GLITTERING GOLD! 49 

deposits of the precious metal generally occur in meta- 
morphic rocks, belonging probably to the Huronian or 
Laurentian series. These are clearly stratified, not 
unfrequently intercalated with bands of clay or sand, and 
underlie the whole country, forming beds of great thick- 
ness, very massive and close-grained in their lower layers, 
but growing softer and looser in texture towards the 
surface. The superimposed formations, carboniferous 
limestones, and others, appear to have been almost wholly 
removed by erosion. In this part of Montana, indeed, 
the forces of erosion must have acted with great vigour 
for a long period of time. The general character of the 
country where placer mines exist may be said to be a 
series of deep gulches, frequently dry in the height of 
summer, but carrying foaming torrents after heavy rains 
and in snow-melting time, leading at right angles into a 
principal valley, and combining to form a little river, or, 
as it would be locally called, a creek. This principal 
stream courses in a broad valley through the mountains for 
perhaps 60, 80, or 100 miles, and at every two or three 
miles of its progress receives the waters of a little tributary 
torrent, tearing through the strata in deep canons for 
ten or twelve miles, and searching the very vitals of the 
hills. Down these gulches, canons, and valleys are 
carried the yellow specks torn from their quartz and 
felspar cradles, hurried downward by the melting snow, 
and battered into powder by falling boulders and grinding 
rocks, till they sink in beds of worthless sand and mud, 
there to he in peace for ages amid the solitudes of pri- 
meval forest and eternal snow. Some fine day there comes 
along a dirty, dishevelled, tobacco-chewing fellow — i 
' fossicker, ' as they would say in Australia, ' prospector, ' 
as he would be called in the States. Impelled by a love 
of adventure, a passion for excitement, a hatred of ' the 



60 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

town and its narrow ways,' and of all and any of the 
steady wage-getting occupations of life, he braves summer's 
heat and winter's cold, thirst and starvation, hostile 
Indians and jealous whites ; perhaps paddling a tiny birch - 
bark canoe over unmapped, unheard-of lakes, away to the 
far and misty North, or driving before him over the plains 
and prairies of a more genial clime his donkey or Indian 
pony, laden with the few necessaries that supply all the 
wants of his precarious life — a little flour, some tea and 
sugar tied up in a rag, a battered frying-pan and tin cup, 
a shovel, axe, and rusty gun. Through untrodden wastes 
he wanders, self-dependent and alone, thinking of the 
great spree he had the last time he was in ' settlements,' 
and dreaming of what a good time he will enjoy when he 
gets back rich with the value of some lucky find, till 
chance directs him to the Gulch. After a rapid but keen 
survey, he thinks it is a likely-looking place, capsizes the 
pack off his pony, leans lazily upon his shovel, spits, and 
finally concludes to take a sample of the dirt. Listlessly, 
but with what delicacy of manipulation he handles the 
shovel, spilhng over its edges the water and lighter mud ! 
See the look of interest that wakens up his emotionless 
face as the residue of sediment becomes less and less ! 
Still more tenderly he moves the circling pan, stooping 
anxiously to scan the few remaining grains of fine sand. 
A minute speck of yellow glitters in the sun ; with another 
dexterous turn of the wrist, two or three more golden 
grains are exposed to view. He catches his breath ; his 
eyes glisten ; his heart beats. Hurrah ! He has found 
the colour ! and ' a d — d good colour too.' It is all over 
with your primeval forest now ; not all the Indians this 
side of Hahfax or the other place could keep men out of 
that gulch. In a short time claims are staked, tents 
erected, shanties built, and ' Eoaring Camp ' is in full blast 



STIRLING. 51 

with all its rowdyism, its shooting, gambling, drinking, 
and blaspheming, and its under-current of charity, which 
never will be credited by those who value substance less 
than shadows, and think more of words than deeds. 

Although the float gold undoubtedly had its origin in 
the metamorphic rocks through which the streams have 
cut their way, yet, strange as it may appear, the excep- 
tions where paying lodes have been found at the head of 
rich placer mines are extremely rare. No discoveries of 
any value have been made in the rocks towards the 
head of Alder Gulch, from which the large quantities of 
gold-dust, panned out from the bed of the stream, must 
have come. It would appear as though the upper portions 
of the strata contained all the metal, and the inferior 
layers were either very lean, or entirely destitute, of ore. 
The lodes throughout all this section have a general north- 
east and south-west strike, and dip nearly west at an 
angle of fifty or sixty degrees. The matrix is felspar and 
quartz, exhibiting various degrees of hardness in texture, 
and occurring generally in gneiss. The trend of the 
whole metamorphic series is about north-west and 
south-east. 

There was nothing to interest us in Virginia City, or in 
the neighbourhood. The chances of good sport appeared 
on inquiry to be very doubtful, and so, as soon as we 
had rested ourselves, we decided, after a council of war, 
to go to Fort EUis, and have a week's hunting in that 
locality, while we were waiting for Wynne, who ought to 
have joined us long ago. 

The road to Fort Ellis and Bozeman takes a 
nearly due north direction, down the valley of the 
Madison Eiver, deflecting towards the little village of 
Stirling and the mining (or would-be mining) settlement 
of Midasburg. It then crosses the Madison, and, sur- 



52 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

mounting a low watershed to the east, passes over the 
Gallatin or eastern fork of the Missouri. I had some 
inquiries to make at Stirling ; and accordingly, on Wed- 
nesday, Jack and I drove over there while the rest agreed to 
follow us the next day. The morning was cold and 
stormy, and the first snow of the year lay several inches 
deep on the slopes and summits of the two low divides 
over which the road passes. The country was dreary and 
mountainous, the only sight of interest being the house 
of the late lamented Mr. Slade, the ' boss murderer ' of 
the "West. If any one wants to know about him, of 
the deeds that he did, and the men that he murdered, 
and the cunning tricks with which he deluded his victims 
to take them unawares ; of the ears and noses he cut 
off, and how he turned the unfortunate Jules into a target 
and shot him to death by degrees, taking a whole day 
and a great many drinks about it ; and what a good and 
faithful stage-agent he was, and what a gentleman-like, 
quiet man when sober and in good-humour; and, finally, 
of how he cried and kicked and screamed, and begged 
and prayed, when they were going to hang him in Virginia 
City ; and how devoted his wife was to him, and how she 
was just in time to be too late to see the hanging — are 
they not written in the books of the Chronicles of Bret 
Harte, or can they not be heard from the lips of a gen- 
tleman of the Irish persuasion who rode behind me to 
Stirling, and scared me consumedly with his tales of 
highway robbery and the like ? Slade was a remarkable 
man in his life and death. Few have equalled him in the 
cruel courage and calm daring he exhibited so frequently 
during his career ; but it is very seldom that border des- 
peradoes have shown the white feather at the last as he 
did, most of them taking their departure in a similar 
frame of mind to that of the individual who, being told. 



THE MIDAS MINING COMPANY. 53 

when the rope was round his neck, that he had five 
minutes law to say his prayers, replied, ' Go on with the 
hanging, gentlemen ; wy prayers would not reach a yard 
high.' The coolness exhibited by some of these desperadoes 
is marvellous. A worthy, rejoicing I think in the name 
of ' Big Ed,' was hanged in company with two others at 
Laramie during the railway-making days. The ropes were 
fastened to a beam projecting from the top of a log-built 
corral or inclosure, and the ' hangees ' had to walk up a 
ladder, stand on the top of the fence, and jump off. 
When ' Big Ed ' got half-way up the ladder he turned and 
asked the assembled gentlemen whether they had any 
objection to his taking off his boots. The gentlemen 
' hangers ' replied that they had not the slightest ob- 
jection, upon which 'Ed,' after divesting himself of his 
Welhngtons, mounted to the top of the inclosure, and, 
just when about to plunge into eternity, called out to a 
man in the crowd, ' Say ! Bill, you just tell Hank (these 
names are imaginary, for I do not remember the true 
ones) that he has lost his bet after all, for I have not died 
in my boots ; you get the twenty dollars, and pay it over 
to my girl Sal.' To die in one's boots is, in the West, a 
periphrase for dying a violent death. 

Stirling was to have been ' quite a place,' a mighty 
city — in fact, the metropolis of Montana. At present it 
consists of a post-office, a store, and one or two houses, 
and seems destined to revert at no distant date to the 
wild sheep and goats that from the rocky crags sur- 
rounding it surveyed the labours of the Midas Mining 
Company, and others, when, in 18G4, they commenced 
their building operations at Midasburg. The Company 
erected a very spacious and solidly-built mill of cut stone, 
the engines, machinery, and crushers for which were 
brought at enormous cost from California. The mill 

F 



54 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

contains fifteen stamps, worked by engines of eighty-horse 
power ; and it is capable of crushing from a ton and a quarter 
to a ton and a half of hard rock per day per stamp, using 
fine screens ; but not a single ounce has yet passed under 
the stampers, and of course the building material, plant, 
and even engines are utterly valueless, the expense of 
removal being so prodigiously high. 

The original cost of the building and plant must have 
been considerable, and to that must be added a large item 
for the transport of the ponderous machinery for 1,200 
miles through Arizona and Utah, the most dangerous and 
desolate regions in the United States. It is a sad thing to 
see such a waste of energy and money. Better days may 
come ; but, if Mr. Jackson (the manager of the Company, 
to whom I gladly take this opportunity of tendering my 
best thanks for all his kindness) thinks so, he must be a 
sanguine man. At present he has nothing to do but buy 
and melt gold-dust and look after the property of the 
Company. 

At Stirling we found a most extraordinary little Irish- 
man. He was very diminutive, could drink six or eight 
quarts of milk at a sitting, called himself Mr. Mahogany 
Bogstick, never touched beer, spirits or tobacco, was 
partial to petticoats, and held that if only England would 
legislate justly for the Sister Isle, all the Irishmen in the 
world could reside comfortably and happily at home with 
plenty to eat and drink, lots of land to live upon, and not 
a hand's turn of work to do. I think he invented his 
extraordinary name on the spur of the moment, from a 
mistaken notion that Jack was chaffing him, when in 
reply to his inquiries he informed him that Omonhondro 
was his nom de famille. He was a very funny character, 
and amused us greatly during the evening. 

We bought a pony at Stirling, and, having now been 



FLUVIAL DETAILS. 55 

joined by Dr. Kiogsley, on Friday we left this fiasco of a 
city and drove to Fort Ellis, a distance of 45 miles. Our 
recent purchase was the occasion of some little anxiety to 
us at starting. He was a native pony, of mixed Spanish 
and American blood. Like all half-bred mustangs, he was 
not destitute of the diabolical accomplishment of ' buck- 
jumping,' and he exhibited a slight disposition to indulge 
in the pastime ; but, as he evidently was not a thorough 
proficient at it. Jack found no difficulty in subduing his 
early efforts ; after which his behaviour w\as most exem- 
plary. The doctor and I drove in the buggy, and Jack 
(whom I beg to introduce pictorially to the reader, on 
p. 62) on the newly-acquired Broncho, galloped gaily 
alongside in great form, full of spirits — I mean animal 
spirits, not whisky — singing, whooping, and yelling. It was 
a lovely morning ; the snow had all disappeared, and the 
sun shone out bright and warm. The horses were fresh, 
and we rattled gaily along a good and level road, following 
the direction of a little creek and passing many evidences 
of the short period of prosperity that succeeded the disco- 
very of gold in 1864, in the shape of old placer workings, 
dams for heading-up water to work crushing-mills, tumble- 
down houses, and deserted shanties. The only inhabi- 
tant now left was fishing for trout, and catching them 
too in an abandoned mill-dam. 

The road, after pursuing a north-easterly direction for 
a few miles, crosses the Madison by a toll-bridge, and 
bends to the north along the margin of the stream. The 
Missouri, as I suppose all geography-taught folks are 
aware, heads in three principal streams, the Jefferson on 
the west, the Madison in the middle, and the Gallatin to the 
east. The Madison is, at the point of crossing, a fine, broad, 
rushing river, flowing with a current discoloured by the 
washings of many placer mines, through a rich alluvia] 
F 2 



56 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

plain. In its shallow stream, warmed by the tributary 
waters of the Fire Hole Eiver, the usual fluviatile vegeta- 
tion flourishes with more than ordinary luxuriance, and 
fills the air with a clean, sea-weedy smell. Leaving the 
river-bed and turning again in an easterly direction, we 
crossed the low divide separating the Madison and Gal- 
latin Valleys. This divide is a broad ridge, furrowed and 
water-worn into a series of rounded grass-covered hills. 
Although I should not estimate the highest point at more 
than 300 feet above the level of the plains, yet the ridge 
aflfords a fine view of both valley systems. The two 
basins are very similar in character, and of the same geo- 
logical formation ; having been lake basins originally, and 
at no very distant period of time. The old beaches can 
be very distinctly traced in the former valley. Turning 
from it and looking east, the Gallatin Valley is spread out 
before you, the course of the river marked by a heavy 
growth of dark-green cotton-wood trees ; and beyond it, in 
the distance, rise the mountains dividing the waters that 
flow into the Yellowstone from those seeking the Missouri. 
Dimly visible in the hazy north are the ' Crazy Woman ' 
Mountains and the peaks about Shields Eiver; on the 
southern horizon the Great Tetons hang like a blue cloud ; 
and to the west are the soft outlines of the water- shed 
between the Madison and Jefferson. Dotted among the 
cotton- woods may be seen the white houses of prosperous 
settlers, and at the northern or lower end of the valley, 
where the divide on which you stand melts into the plain, 
two or three white objects denote the position of Gallatin 
City, which is situated at the junction of the Three Forks. 
The outlines of the neighbouring mountains are fine, 
especially some great masses of trap and porphyry pro- 
truding through the hmestone. Many of the mountains 
show old crater forms, and the courses of the lava streams 



UNCONVENTIONAL FREEDOM. 67 

that have flowed from them can in some cases be dis- 
tinctly traced. 

We reached the clear swift-flowing waters of the 
Gallatin about two in the afternoon, and, picking out 
a nice shady place, went into camp for a couple of 
hours. 

While some of us unhitched and unharnessed the 
horses, picketed them and gave them their corn, others 
proceeded to the river and speedily returned with a dozen 
or so of beautiful trout. A fire was soon lighted, and 
with fresh-broiled trout and some farinaceous food, taken 
in a concentrated and hquid form out of a black bottle, we 
made a luncheon not to be despised, and then lay down in 
the cool shade to rest and wait till the cattle had finished 
their feed. 

Oh ! the comfort of lying flat on your back on the 
grass, gazing up at the blue sky and the flickering green 
leaves of the trees ; flat on your back in your shirt- sleeves 
without any collar — by no manner of means must you 
have a collar ; it is sure to get tight and half choke you 
when you lie down — to take your rest in the shade on a 
hot day, the breeze playing round your head and stealing 
down your back and chest. That is luxury indeed ! No 
apprehension of catching cold disturbs your mind, while 
you are soothed by the distant chirruping of grasshoppers 
in the sunshine, the murmur of bees in the tree-tops, and 
the carillon of the rushing stream. You are not tres- 
passing and nobody can warn you ofi'. There is plenty 
of fish in the river, some whisky left in the bottle, lots of 
bread in the buggy ; and you run no risk of being dis- 
turbed, for there is not another human being within miles. 
You can go when you like, or stay as long as you choose. 
You can stretch your arms and kick out your legs without 
any danger of treading on a sensitive corn, or of poking 



68 THE GREAT B I VIDE. 

out somebody's eye ; and you can throw back your 
shoulders, expand your chest, and inhale a full draught 
of fresh pure air ; with a sense of glorious indepen- 
dence only to be enjoyed in a large country. I believe 
a man under such circumstances positively is nearly as 
happy as a cow in a clover field. Think of it, ye fashion- 
ables, ye toilers of the season, who pass laborious days 
panting in the dusty jam of a London summer, and spend 
perspiring nights struggling on a staircase, inhaling your 
fellow-creatures, absorbing fat dowagers, breathing men 
and women ! Think of it, and give an affirmative 
answer to the lines in Bret Harte, ' Is our civilisation 
a failure, or is the Caucasian played out ? ' 

It is sweet to do nothing ; but we could not linger 
very long, for our destination. Fort Ellis, was at a distance 
unknown to us ; so, hitching up the horses, we tucked 
ourselves into the buggy, crossed the Gallatin Eiver, and 
pursued our way. 

Tlie valley of this river affords about the finest agricul- 
tural and pastiu'e land in the territory. It is about forty 
miles in length from south to north, and varies in breadth 
from ^YQ to fifteen miles. It is watered by the Gallatin, 
the banks of which are very heavily bordered with poplars 
and bitter cotton-woods, and by several little tributaries, 
some rising on the eastern flanks of the Gallatin Eange, and 
others towards the north, in a series of broken, detached, 
and unnamed mountains. Small fruits, vegetables, and all 
cereals (with the exception of Indian corn, which would 
never be a valuable crop) flourish luxuriantly. The great 
.drawback to all this region, however, is the interval of 
cold that invariably comes in about the time of the 
autumnal equinox. At the latter end of September there 
is a fortnight of very cold stormy weather, which com- 
pletely destroys unharvested crops and ungathered fruit. 



FORT ELLIS. 59 

This is true of a very large tract of country, including 
Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and all Northern Colorado, 
in which latter section it not unfrequently happens 
that more snow falls during September than in any 
other month of the year. This cold snap is succeeded 
by fine bright warm weather, answering to the Indian 
summer of Virginia, which lasts usually till Christmas, 
and not unfrequently till the stormy months of February 
and March. Were it not for these so-called equinoctial 
snows, the warm September and October sun which is so 
much needed in these north-western territories, where 
the springs are very late and the summers short, would 
ripen to perfection apples, pears, peaches, and Indian corn. 
As long as these peculiar climatic effects obtain within 
their borders, these territories cannot compete in the pro- 
duction of fruit, vegetables, and maize with other countries 
situated as far, or even farther, to the north, but which 
are not subject to such sudden atmospheric changes. 

At the upper or south end of the valley stands the 
clean, all-alive, and wide-awake town of Bozeman ; and 
three miles further on, almost in the jaws of Bozeman 
Pass, is Fort Ellis, the most important military post in 
the north-west. The term ' Fort ' is in this, as in most 
other cases, a mere figure of speech. All trading es- 
tablishments of the Hudson Bay and other fur Com- 
panies, and all military establishments, are designated 
forts, though there may be nothing whatever fortified 
about them. Fort Ellis consists of a large square, two 
sides of which are occupied by the soldiers' quarters, 
while the remaining side is devoted to the officers' houses. 
All along the inside of the square runs a wooden side- 
walk, beside which a few unhappy trees are striving to 
grow ; and the interior space, the centre of which is 
adorned with a tall flag-stafi', is gravelled, forming a 



60 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

commodious parade-ground ; while the angles are flanked 
and protected by quaint old-fashioned-looking block 
houses, octagonal in shape, loop-holed, and begirt with 
a broad balcony, upon which sentries pace everlastingly 
up and down. Beyond the buildings forming the square 
are other soldiers' quarters, washerwomen's houses, stables, 
stores, billiard-room, blacksmiths' and saddlers' shops, 
and the like, the whole being surrounded by a sort of 
stockade fence ; and furthest removed, on a breezy 
elevation, are the hospital buildings, and some large stores 
and magazines. 

Strategically, the situation of Fort Elhs is well chosen, 
for it commands the valleys of the Yellowstone and of the 
three forks of the Missouri, in which is contained all 
the richest and best land in the territory — -in fact, all that 
is really available for cultivation ; and, in connection with 
Fort Shaw and Fort Benton, it commands the naviga- 
tion on the Missouri, and the three principal passes which 
break through the mountains from one river system 
to the other. These gaps are very important as being 
natural thoroughfares, for through Flat Head, Bridger, 
and Bozeman Passes the Bannacks and Flat Heads make 
their way to hunt buffalo on the Mussel Shell, Upper 
Missouri, and Lower Yellowstone ; and through them 
also the hostile Indians of the plains make their raids 
into the Gallatin Valley, killing and plundering the settlers, 
and lifting their stock. These predatory expeditions 
had latterly become rare, and it was hoped that they had 
been renounced altogether ; but only last year the Sioux 
made a dash, ran some stock off from under the very 
walls of Fort Ellis, and killed two white men near the 
Crow Mission. The Crow Indians are the best guards. 
Their young men are always roaming through the 
country in the liope of picking up something : and they 



THE SHADES OF EVENING. 61 

smell out a war-party long before it occurs to the soldiers 
that there is a hostile red-skin within a hundred miles. 
' When the Crows are away the Sioux will play,' but, 
when the tribes of the Absaraka return to their Agency, 
those thieving worthies discover that important business 
necessitates their presence at home. 

It was late in the afternoon when we arrived at Fort 
Ellis. With some difficulty we found our w^ay to General 
Sweitzer's quarters, where, upon presenting our letters of 
introduction, we were most kmdly received. By the time 
we had completed our ablutions, and had seated our- 
selves on the ' stoop,' or verandah, to enjoy the cool 
breeze and smoke a soothing cigar, the sun was nearly 
down. It was a most lonely evening. The atmosphere 
was ' smoky,' as it is termed in the West, and imparted a 
dim grandeur to the distant m.oun tains. The glowing 
valley around us lay basking in the sunlight, and far to 
the west the dark masses of the Madison Mountains 
bounded the horizon. Close by, the summits of Bridger's 
Peaks reared themselves distinct and clear, catching the 
full blaze of the setting sun ; and to the north and east 
the blue cloudy heights of ' Crazy Woman ' Range swam 
and trembled in the haze. The air was perfectly still ; 
the ' star-spangled banner ' himg motionless. Two or 
three cloud-islands, or rather reefs of clouds, lay in the 
clear blue sky, dazzhng under the slant rays of the sun. 
The clouds grew crimson, their edges flashing like red 
burnished gold, and the horizon was tinted with lovely 
greens, purples, and yellows, resplendent but fading im- 
perceptibly into each other. Lower and lower sank the 
sun, while the evening star shone brighter and brighter 
through a great gap in the eastern range. A puff of 
white smoke, a loud echoing report; down floated the 
Stars and Stripes, and one more peaceful and monotonous 



62 



THE GREAT DIVIDE, 



day had passed over the heads of these exiles in a re- 
mote frontier post, these watchers on the confines of 
civihsation. 




TEXAS JACK. 



63 



CHAPTEE III. 

THE CROW TRIBE. 

A FEW pleasant days we lingered at Fort Ellis, much 
enjoying the kind hospitality of Genei'al and Mrs. Sweitzer 
and the officers of the garrison ; discussing hunting and 
shooting, trapping bears, stalking elk or trailing Eed- 
skins ; listening to awful tales, which I trust were a little 
highly-coloured, of Indian devilry and cunning, how 
they creep upon you unawares, how they impale you on a 
young pine-tree, and leave you there to squirm your life 
out in writhing agonies, or lay you, stripped naked, flat 
on your back on the ground, your arms and legs extended, 
and, lighting a small fire on your stomach, dance round 
you in enjoyment of the spectacle of seeing a man cooked 
in his own shell like a crab. 

Wild stories, too, we heard of weary marches ; of 
want of food and want of water ; of hazardous scouting 
expeditions ; and of awful suiFerings in winter snows, 
when men lost their toes and fingers, or fared like the 
carpenter in the voyage through the Straits of Magellan, 
who, ' thinking to blow his nose, did cast it into the 
fire.' Perhaps some fastidious fair one may think the 
carpenter in question must have been a vulgar person. 
Any one who has been to a cold climate will, however, 
allow that if you blow your nose at all, you must use the 
implements of nature, not of art. 

So we chatted, spun yarns, played billiards, and 



64 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

drove about, while Jack, by no means idle, was purchasing 
stock at Bozeman ; and, finally, everything being nearly 
ready, I left orders for the outfit to proceed direct to 
Boteler's Eanch, and started off myself to have a look at 
the Crow Agency. 

The distance from Fort ElHs to the Agency is about 
thirty miles. The road is easy and not very remarkable 
in any way. The canon or gorge by which it breaks 
through the first range of mountains is rather fine, the 
pass being in some places hemmed in by very massive pre- 
cipitous walls of rock. The road then winds along for some 
distance, a little above the creek level, over the usual 
hilly deposit of detritus that invariably borders the foot of 
the mountain ranges ; and at length, when you begin to 
think tlie distance must have been miscalculated, you gain 
the summit of a rise and get your first view of the 
Yellowstone River and of its plain, fading in the dim un- 
broken distance to tlie east, and bounded to the south-east 
by the great range of the Yellowstone Mountains. I had 
heard so much of the Yellowstone — of the signs and won- 
ders that attend its birth in the mountains, and of the lovely 
and mysterious lake at its source ; of the region, fire- 
haunted and full of portents, which no Indian dare visit, 
and which until a year or two ago was unknown to civi- 
lised man ; of the stupendous cliffs of its canon, and of the 
wild tribes that roam along its banks — that when the 
sheen of its waters glittering on the evening sun struck 
my eye, I pulled up and gazed on the scene with some- 
thing of the silent enthusiasm of a pilgrim who sees in 
the far distance St. Peter's dome or the minarets of 
Mecca, towards which for weary days he has dragged 
his feet. 

The Mission is well situated on the south side of the 
river near the great bend, where, after bursting through 



THE CROW AGENCY. 65 

the mountains, it suddenly turns its course from north 
to east. As the road runs on the north bank of the 
Yellowstone, we had to cross the river. 

The current is deep, broad, and rapid, flowing over a 
bottom of loose rolling stones ; and though the waters were 
low at the time, it was by no means easy to ford. With 
the river bank- full it is impassable. A fine grassy prairie 
surrounds the Mission, extending on both sides of the river 
for some distance, and gradually expanding on the south 
side into the great plains that lie between the Yellowstone 
and Missouri. North of the river are the Crazy Woman 
and Sheep Mountains. Near at hand on the south is a 
high triangular peak, on the top of which the Crows 
occasionally light a great fire ; but whether it is done at 
stated seasons, and is connected in any way with some 
religious observance dimly shadowing the former pre- 
valence of fire-worship, or whether it is used merely as 
a signal, I could not discover. Further to the south is 
the great snowy Yellowstone Eange. The buildings of 
the Agency comprise a small barrack, which was 
garrisoned by a non-commissioned officer and ten men ; 
traders' stores, church, school-house, houses for the 
various employes, and comfortable quarters for the 
agent and his family and the missionary. 

The Absaraka, as they call themselves — or Crows, as 
the whites designate them — are a fine race, tall, straight, 
clean-limbed, well-proportioned, and light in colour. Men 
of six feet two, three, and even four inches in height are 
not uncommon ; and they look taller than they really are, 
partly on account of their wearing drapery which 
adds to their apparent stature, and partly because, 
like all other savages, they lack the robust pro- 
portions and strong muscular development of the white 
man, and in consequence their hmbs look long, rounded, 



66 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

and woman-like. The beauty of long locks, with us a 
crown of glory to the fair sex, is, in the lodges of the 
Crows, appropriated entirely by the men ; who take 
infinite pains with their hair, usually wearing it in long 
heavy plaits. I don't know how it is with the women, 
but probably they have not time or opportunity to culti- 
vate it or keep it in order, for among Indians it is the 
men who spend hours in beautifying themselves and 
looking in the glass, who run up long bills for finery, and 
make use of powder and paint. They reserve to them- 
selves all the tricks and artificial aids of the toilet. For 
their glossy locks the greasy bear is shorn of his fat ; for 
them are the reddest cloth, the brightest beads, the 
bravest plumes, the rarest shells. The young men mono- 
polise the trinkets, necklaces, and earrings, dress them- 
selves in shirts adorned with porcupine-quill embroidery, 
and throw over their shoulders blankets of vivid red or 
green. The women, poor drudges, have no time for 
these vanities. The wife has to unpack the horses, set up 
the lodge poles, stretch the skin -covering over them, cut 
the wood, hght the fire, draw the water, spank the baby, 
cook the supper, and light the pipe for her lazy lord, who 
sits at ease, master of the situation, indolently beautifying 
his ugly person, smearing a stripe of yellow ochre across 
his Eoman nose, painting his broad face in alternate 
stripes of black and red, or colouring his dusky skin a 
lively pea-green. A girl has a poor chance of retaining 
any little article of finery that may be given to her. Unless 
she is comely, well-formed, a recent acquisition, or a very 
great favourite, it soon finds its way into the wardrobe of 
her husband. 

They are great dandies these young bucks, and 
take immense pains about their get-up, carrying with 
them, on friendly expeditions, their paint and finery, and 



CBOW DANDYISM. 07 

always halting to dress before entering a strange village. 
They are exceedingly careful of their war-bonnets and 
feather head dresses, folding them in neat little band- 
boxes of birch-bark or hide, and are very prond of their 
ornaments, earrings, bracelets, and garniture. 

Nothing tickles the fancy of an Indian so much as to 
be stared at by a white man. His vanity is gratified ; he 
sees that he has made an impression, and it never enters 
into his head that the impression could be anything but 
favourable. 

The sole end and object of his existence, the point on 
which all his thoughts and energies are concentrated, is 
to appear formidable to his enemies and attractive to the 
women. If he can scare his foes by the hideousness of 
his war-paint and the ferocity of his appearance, he is 
dehghted, because he may, perhaps, without risk to him- 
self, shoot one of them in the back while running away ; 
and liaving done so, he and his friends would scalp the 
body, and kick it, and dance round it, and stamp upon it, 
and abuse it, and stick it full of knives and arrows, and 
have a ' gay old time generally,' and then go home and 
be afraid of the dead man's ghost. At any rate, he 
would argue that, even if he killed no one, he would not 
be killed himself, which would be a highly satisfactory 
reflection to his selfish mind. And if he sees that the 
bright vermilion partings of his hair, and the carefully- 
designed and artfully-painted stripes and patches on his 
face and chest, are making an impression ; if shy glances 
of approval note the swing of his gay blanket and the style 
of his leggings, and if soft eyes brighten at the sight of his 
shell earrings and the silver plates in his back hair, he is 
also delighted, because — well, for the same reason any- 
body else would be. 

In short, he is the greatest coxcomb on the face of 



68 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

the earth, .not to be surpassed even in London for in- 
ordinate vanity, stupendous egotism, and love of self 
His features may not be strictly classical, according to 
our standard of beauty. His cheek-bones might be con- 
sidered somewhat too prominent, and his paint certainly 
is inadmissible with us : but, to do him justice, I must 
allow that he is not a bad-looking fellow in his way. 
Take, as an example, a young warrior of the Bannacks 
whom I saw riding through a street in Virginia City from 
their camp in the neighbourhood. Smooth and easy as 
a hawk's flight he sweeps along, sitting his foam-flecked 
mustang with the yielding gracefulness of a willow bending 
to the breeze ; swaying his lithe body with every bound of 
the animal beneath him. Before him, across the pommel 
of his saddle, he bc-ars his rifle in embroidered elk- skin 
cover adorned with long fringes, which, mingling with 
the horse's mane and the tags and tassels of his gay 
leggings, spread out behind him on either side. His 
long black hair, plaited and tied with knots of scarlet 
ribbon, streams out in the wind, and uniting with the 
horse's tail seems almost to touch the dust. Slung across 
his back are his lion-skin quiver and his bow ; by his side 
hangs a revolver, silver-mounted, and shining in the sun. 
With the toes of his beaded moccasins he touches the 
loops that serve him for stirrups ; his left hand lightly holds 
the bridle ; and from his right wrist hangs by a thong 
his buckhorn-handled quirt or whip. As he gallops 
down the street, all his gay trappings fly out in disorder 
behind him ; and, when with a pull at the cruel Spanish 
bit he steadies into a walk, the folds of his scarlet blanket 
settle down and hang gracefully from his shoulders, and 
he passes, an embodiment of savage life, full of wild 
beauty and bright colour, and no doubt attractive to the 
female eye ; glancing with supreme and undisguised con- 



MAKING MEDICINE. 69 

tempt upon the plug-hat, black store coat and pants of 
some newly-arrived representative of civilisation. 

It is only the young men who indulge their love of 
dress and finery. The tried and seasoned warriors wear 
with pride their feather head-dresses, every plume in 
which commemorates some notable incident in their 
lives ; but they care little for beautifying their weather- 
beaten countenances. Indeed, it is considered de rigueur 
that a great chief should assume a studied simplicity of 
garb and demeanour, be his age what it may. Though 
his government, such as it is, is a species of despotism, yet 
the Eed Indian is a thorough Eepublican at heart, and a 
great stickler for the equal rights of all. He is the most 
independent man in the world, each head of a family 
being in his own lodge supreme. The chiefs hold their 
position by an exceedingly precarious tenure, inasmuch 
as their popularity, and consequently the numerical 
strength of their following, fluctuates as good or evil 
results attend their undertakings. Before starting on a 
war expedition or buffalo hunt, the chief ' makes medi- 
cine ; ' that is, he wraps himself in his blanket, and sits 
down without eating, speaking, or smoking for forty-eight 
hours or so. If no evil omens occur, if he is impressed 
with a feeling that the hour is propitious, the party will set 
out, full of confidence and ready to obey him in every 
respect. But if bad luck pursues them, if the enemy 
discovers their proximity before a blow has been struck, 
or if they fail to find game, or cannot approach the 
herds owing to a bad wind prevailing for two or three 
days, the chief in charge of the party never fails to abdi- 
cate voluntarily, and some one else is chosen to see if he 
can make better medicine. 

War chiefs are selected for their skill, courage, and 
cunning, and they are most anxious to show that their 

G 



70 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

whole energies are devoted to the advantage of the 
pubhc, and not used for the benefit of themselves or 
their families. The great man therefore is generally no 
better housed or clothed than the average of his tribe. 
He is among the first to feel the pangs of hunger, and it 
woiild be considered exceedingly wrong in him to take 
advantage of his position and to provide himself against 
the numerous vicissitudes of savage life. 

But, to return to the Crows : This tribe is divided 
into two bands — the Mountain Crows, numbering about 
3,200 souls, including half-breeds ; and the Eiver Crows, 
about 1,200. Each division is in their own language 
called by a distinctive name, which indicates significantly 
certain customs which the sub-tribes have adopted as 
suitable to the nature of the country in which they 
dwell ; but which, being translated, would be very shock- 
ing to ears polite. 

Their present reservation, secured to them by treaty 
with the United States in 1868, comprises about 6,272,000 
acres of land, situated north of the Yellowstone. It 
contains every variety of land, mountain, plain, valley, 
forest and meadow ; is well watered by several important 
confluents of the Yellowstone, and is in parts heavily 
timbered. In other words, it is well adapted to the pur- 
pose for which it was set aside, namely, the support of a 
wandering race of people living by the chase. But gold 
was found or heard of on Eosebud or Big Boulder ; white 
men flocked in, the land was wanted, and the Crows were 
' requested ' to exchange their reserve for one of 3,625,000 
acres, about half the size of their original territory in the 
Judith Basin, south of the Missouri ; a land certainly not 
flowing with milk and honey, not even with milk and 
watei', or water alone — a country small in size and sparsely 
timbered. It is true that it is a fine game country, and 



MOVJE ON, YE CROWS! 71 

it abounds or abounded in buffalo ; but it is a hunting- 
ground over which many tribes had a right of common- 
age. One of the inducements held out to the Crows was 
that they would thenceforth have it all to themselves ; — 
truly a heavy undertaking to keep out all the Sioux, 
Bannacks, Nez Perces, Flat Heads, Black Feet, Assini- 
boins, Piegans, &c. &c., who have from the beginning of 
time been running buffalo on these plains. The whole 
lives of the new-comers will be spent in Chancery, de- 
fending their newly-acquired privileges against the right 
of immemorial usage claimed by the others. However, 
when Uncle Sam ' requests ' a small tribe to exchange 
their reservation, it is much the same as when Policeman 
X 220 ' requests ' an obstructionist to move on. After a 
little remonstrance the tribe, like the individual, sees the 
force of the argument and accedes to the request. So the 
Crows, after much speechifying and remonstrating at a 
convention held at their Agency in 1873, expressed their 
willingness to go, entreating (poor fellows !) that Major 
Pease, who had for some time been their agent, and for 
whom they evidently entertained great respect and affec- 
tion, should continue to act in that capacity, and asking 
for assistance against their enemies, the Sioux, whom they 
declared to be better armed and supplied than they were, 
despite the fact that the Sioux are hostile to the whites. 
Indeed, they seemed to fancy that the Dakotah had been 
favoured on account of their hostility. It is a dangerous 
thing to allow Indians to suppose that by making them- 
selves troublesome they can obtain privileges they would 
not otherwise enjoy. 

The territory claimed by the Crows at the time of 
their meeting with the Commissioner in 1873 had been 
conveyed to them in the usual terms by the United 
States in 1868, and the Government had, moreover, 

G 2 



72 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

undertaken certain obligations, such as yearly payments 
of money and supplies of goods. In 1869 their agent 
wrote to Washington complaining bitterly that the 
treaty obligations were not carried out by Government, 
and that, in consequence, he had much difficulty in 
restraining his Indians from making common cause with 
the neighbouring hostile tribes. In 1873 the United States 
proposed to take up their land and place them on the 
new reservation, and offered to make a new treaty 
decreeing that ' the following district of country, to wit, 
.... shall be, and the same is, set apart for the abso- 
lute and undisturbed use and occupation of the Indians 
herein named.' The text of the treaty went on to say 
that ' the United States now solemnly agree that no 
person except those herein designated .... shall ever 
be permitted to pass over, settle upon, or reside in the 

territory described in this article And the United 

States agree to set apart the sum of one million of 
dollars, to hold the same in trust for the Crow tribe of 
Indians, the principal to be held in perpetuity and the 
interest thereof to be expended or invested.' All this 
doubtless was very satisfactory ; but, considering that 
only five years had elapsed since the former treaty 
at Laramie, it is not likely that the Crows would again 
attach much importance to the proviso that no person 
should ever disturb them in their new possession, which 
was nominally to be for their absolute use. Neither 
would they be inclined after their last experience to 
attach a very high value to the interest on their one 
million dollars. 

The Crow tribe will not, in all probability, cumber 
the earth for many generations ; and the one million 
dollars, held for their use in perpetuity, are likely to 
revert to Uncle Sam before very long ; but in the mean- 



A VALUELESS TREATY. 7'6 

time, the adhesiveness of the material used in paying 
Indian annuities behig proverbial, it would be interesting 
to know how much of the interest will fall into the 
Crows' hands and how much will stick on the way. 

In fact, the value of the whole new treaty does not 
amount to that of a row of pins, for the fulfilment of it 
depends entirely upon whether anything of value is dis- 
covered on the new reserve, in which case the Absaraka 
will be again ' requested ' to take up their beds and walk. 
No one can appreciate this more fully than the Indians 
themselves, who have learned by hard experience the true 
value of such treaty obligations. No people can feel 
more keenly the pain of parting from their old hunting- 
grounds, from the burial-places of their fathers and the 
birthplaces of their sons. But what can they do but make 
the best case they can for themselves and bow to fate ? 

In the last instance, however, they did succeed in 
making better terms than usual, and managed to retain 
some of their old reserve. Whether the new treaty has 
up to the present been enforced I am not aware. At 
the time of my visit the Agency buildings had not been 
removed, and I am under the impression that the treaty 
has not yet been confirmed at Washington. 

I should like to have inserted in extenso an account 
of the meeting of the Commissioners appointed to 
negotiate the new treaty with the head man of the Crow 
nation, for it would convey a good idea of the feelings of 
the natives on the subject. Want of space forbids me 
to do so, but I will quote a few extracts from the Eeports 
of the Commissioners of Indian Afiairs in 1873. 

Mr. Brunot represented the Government, and Black- 
foot, second chief of the Mountain Crows, was the 
principal speaker on their side. Many other Indians also 
spoke ; complaining that the Government had not fulfilled 



74 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

the stipulations of the treaty made at Laramie in 1868, 
protesting that they were not assenting parties to that 
treaty, expatiating on the bad quahty of the goods sup- 
phed to them, begging that the agent they hked might be 
left with them, praying for a large reservation, pleading 
hard to retain their own country, and asking for assistance, 
in the shape of weapons, against their enemies. Blackfoot 
first addressed the meeting. He commenced, as usual, 
with an invocation, pointing the peace-pipe at each appeal 
in the direction of the sky, the earth, and the four 
cardinal points ; then handing it to the Commissioners, 
who passed it to the chiefs, he said : — 

' You call the Great Spirit Jesus in your language ; we 
call him, in the Crow language, E-so-we-wat-se. I am 
going to light the pipe, and talk to the Great Spirit.' 
Here he hghted the pipe, and, looking up reverently, 
added : ' The Great Spirit has made the red man and the 
white man, and sees all before Him to-day. Have pity 
upon us! May the white man and the Indian speak 
truth to each other to-day ! The sun that looks down 
upon us to-day, and gives us light and heat, sees that our 
hearts are true, and that what we do is good for the poor 
red man. The moon that shines on us in the night-time 
will see us prosper and do well. earth ! on which we 
walk, from which we come, and which we love as our 
mother — which we love as our country — we ask thee to 
see that we do that which is good for us and our children. 
This tobacco comes from the whites ; we mix it with bark 
from the Indian trees and burn it together before thee, 
Great Spirit. So may our hearts and the hearts of the 
white men go out together to Thee and be made good 
and right 

'I am going to have a long talk with you. The 
Great Father sent our friends to see us. We see each 



BLACKFOOrS DISCOURSE, 75 

other ; that is good. You came here last summer ; we 
were sent for to see you. We were at back of the moun- 
tains when we heard of you ; but high waters and the 
mountains prevented our coming. You said you did not 
see us, and you were sorry for it. We could not come 
any faster. This summer we were on this side near the 
Yellowstone, where we were getting skins to make lodges. 
In the fall the traders will want our robes. We will then 
go over the Yellowstone to Judith Basin to hunt. Since 
I was a boy I recollect that is what the Crows always did. 
When the Crows meet a friend they always give him 
something ; so we do with you. You say you have a 
book that tells about the Great Spirit. We always give 
the Great Spirit something ; I think that is good. We 
see the sun, we give him something ; and the moon and 
the earth, we give them something. We beg them to 
take pity on us. The sun and the moon look at us, and 
the ground gives us food. You come and see us, and 
that is why we give you something. We are men like 
each other ; our religion is different from yours 

' The old folks are dying off, then who will own the 
land? I went to Fort Laramie; the old Indians signed 
the treaty. We came back to the camp and told the 
young men, and they said we had done wrong, and they 
did not want to have anything to do with it. They said : 
" We love the Great Father, and hold on to the hands of 
our white friend. All the other Indian tribes fight the 
whites ; we do not do so. We love the whites, and we 
want them to leave us a big country." .... 

'AH the other Indians go and talk to the Great 
Father ; you take them to Washington. They are bad ; 
they hide their hearts ; but they talk good to the Great 
Father, and you do more for them than for us. This I 
want to tell you ; yesterday you spoke to us, and we 



76 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

listened to yon. If you wish to have peace with all the 
Indians, get them all together and make peace with them. 

Then I will make peace with them too 

' The Great Spirit made these mountains and rivers 
for us and all this land. We were told so, and when we 
go down the river hunting for food we come back here 
again. We cross over to the other river, and we think 
it is good. Many years ago the buffalo got sick and died, 
and Mr. Waldron gave us annuity goods, and since then 
they have given us something qyqyj year. The guns you 
gave us we do not point at the whites. We do not shoot 
our white friends. We are true when we look in your 
face. On our hands is no white man's blood. When you 
give us arms to go and fight the Sioux, we fight them to 
keep our lands from them. When we raise our camp and 
go for buffalo, some white men go with us ; they see what 
we are doing : they see that we jump over the places 
that are bloody. On the other side of the river below, 
there are plenty of buffalo ; on the mountains are plenty 
of elk and black -tailed deer ; and white- tailed deer are 
plenty at the foot of the mountain. All the streams are 
full of beaver. In the Yellowstone Eiver the whites 
catch trout ; there are plenty of them. The white men 
give us food ; we know nothing about it. Do not be in 
a hurry ; when we are poor we will tell you of it. At 
Laramie we went to see the Commissioners. Now Com- 
missioners come to see us, and we hsten to what you say. 
The Commissioners told us at Laramie if we remained 
good friends of the whitcb we should be taken care of for 
forty years. Since we made that treaty it is only five 
years. You are in a hurry to quit giving us food. I am 
a young man yet, my teeth are all good. They told us 
at Laramie that we should get food till we were old and 
our children after us 



A LOGICAL CROW. 77 

' When we set up our lodge poles, one reaches to the 
Yellowstone ; the other is on White Eiver, another one 
goes to Wind Eiver ; the other lodge is on the Bridger 
Mountains. This is our land, and so we told the Com- 
missioners at Fort Laramie ; but all kinds of white people 
come over it, and we tell you of it, though we say 
nothing to them. On this side of the Yellowstone there 
is a lake ; about it are buffalo ; it is a rich country, the 
whites are on it. They are stealing our quartz ; it is ours, 
but we say nothing to them. The whites steal a great 
deal of our money. We do not want them to go into 
our country. We would like needle-guns to get game 
and fight the Sioux ; this we tell you.' 

And so on through a long speech, discussing the ques- 
tion of boundary, commenting on the quality of supplies, 
asking for help against their enemies, &c. &c. 

Mr. Brunot, Chief Commissioner, thus replied : — 

' Blackfoot says that the white people are digging in 
the mountains, taking away your gold. I know that 
myself. I saw them go there. I told them it was not 
right. The Great Father has heard about it, and he has 
said that the Crows had better let the people have the 
gold, and he will pay you for the land. The Crows have 
done well. You have not hurt the white people who are 
on the reservation and in the mines, and you tell us you 
are the white man's friend. The Great Father does not 
want any of these whites to hurt the Crows. He says, 
for us to tell the Crows, that if you let the white people 
have the land, he will give you things you need for many 
years. I have been looking about over your reservation. 
I see you do not go much where the mines are. I think 
it would be good for you to let the white people have 
the land, and the Great Father for many years will give 
you what you need for yourselves and your children. I 



78 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

do not want this on account of tlie people who are on 
your land, but I think it will be good for you and your 
children. It is your land, and you can do what you 
please with it. If you want to keep it, I have nothing 
to say ; but I think it would be good for you to 
sell it.' 

Iron Bull then observed, in reference to the quality 
of stores doled out to his tribe : — 

' I went with Shane the interpreter. They gave me 
blankets : I could blow through them, and they went to 
pieces ; they gave us nothing that was good. I asked 
them to do something for us. They said " Yes ; " but 
they have done nothing for us.' And, in speaking of 
Major Pease, he added : ' Here is our agency : we were 
looking for a white man to take charge of it. We know 
Pease's face. All the people, old men, young men, 
women, and children, know Pease. If you put anybody 
else here as agent, we will not feel like living here any 
more.' 

Then Low Horn and Crazy Sister-in-Law, and many 
others, added : — 

' We love him, and want to keep him. We all love 

him and want him to remain with the Crows 

We do not want Pease to go away. My boy does not 
want him to go away. He gives you a horse to keep 
Pease here.' (Here he gave the Commissioner a stick as 
a pledge to represent the horse.) 

Even the children seem to have had real affection 
for the agent, as the Eeport says that Mountain Chiefs 
daughter and Crazy Sister-in-Law's little daughter pre- 
sented robes, saying, ' We want Pease to stay with the 
Crow tribe.' All the children gathered about Major 
Pease to hold on to him. To which appeals Mr. Brunot 
replied : — 



A POPULAR AGENT. 79 

• One thing I want you all to understand. You say 
you want Mr. Pease for agent. You know his face and 
like him ; so do I, and I think the Great Father likes him 
too. The Great Father when he has his men he puts 
them where he wants them to go ; he puts them where 
he pleases. General Baker was over at Fort Ellis ; the 
Great Father took him away and sent another man there. 
When I came here I knew Major Pease was here ; these 
gentlemen knew Pease was here, and that is all we know 
about it. If the Great Father wants to take him away, 
you must think it is all right.' 

Mr. Brunot then made a long speech explaining the 
terms of the proposed arrangement, indicating the new 
boundary, and putting forward the various reasons that 
made it so desirable to negotiate a fresh treaty. Amongst 
others he mentioned the railway, and said : — ' The Great 
Father is making the railroad. It is like the whirlwind. 
I cannot stop it. Nobody can. I might as well try to 
stop the Yellowstone with my hand. I cannot do it. 
The Sioux thought they had stopped the Great Father's 
soldiers last summer.' 

Blackfoot, who must have a strong sense of humour 
combined with the Indian gravity of his temperament, 
and who, despite the solemnity of the occasion, evidently 
could not resist the temptation to vent his feelings a little 
in sarcasm, answered Mr. Brunot : ' What you have said 
we have listened to, and we think it is true. At 
Laramie the treaty was made. We did not feel right. 
We had made a long journey, and were tired and sick. 
They gave us some horses. They thought they were 
doing a big thing and making us a big present. But the 
horses were wild like the antelope. We caught them with 
the lasso. They jumped and kicked ; we held on tight to 
them, but they got away from us ; we were sick hunting 



80 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

them, and when we got home nearly all of them were gone. 
The Commissioners told me that we should have plenty 
of food given us for forty years. They were big men 
who talked with us ; they were not drunk when they told 
us. We were men and heard them, and so it ought to 
be written in the treaty. I told the Commissioners at 
Laramie that I had seen the Sioux commit a great mas- 
sacre ; they killed many white men. But the Sioux 
are still there, and still kill white men. When 
you whip the Sioux come and tell us of it. You are 
afraid of the Sioux. Two years ago I went with the 
soldiers ; they were very brave ; they were going through 
the Sioux country to Powder Eiver and Tongue Eiver. 
We got to Prior Creek just below here in the Crow 
country. I wanted to go ahead into the Sioux country, 
but the soldiers got scared and turned back. I was there, 
and so were the others who are here ; they know what I 
say is true. The soldiers said they were going to Tongue 
Eiver, but they got frightened at the Sioux and turned 
back. The soldiers were the whirlwind ; they went 
towards the Sioux country, but the whirlwind turned 
back. Last summer the soldiers went to Prior Creek 
again ; again they said they were going through the 
Sioux country, but they saw a few Sioux ; they were 
afraid of them ; they got scared and turned up to the 
Mussel Shell and went back again. Again the whirlwind 
was going through the Sioux country, but again the whirl- 
wind turned back. We are not the whirlwind, but we go 
to the Sioux ; we go into their country, we meet them and 
fight, but we do not turn back ; but we are not the 
whirlwind. You say the railroad is coming up the 
Yellowstone ; that it is like the whirlwind, and cannot be 
turned back. I do not think it will come. The Sioux 
are on the way, and you are afraid of them ; they will 



BLACKFOOrS REPLY. 81 

turn the whirlwind back. If you whip the Sioux and 
get them out of the way, the railroad may come, and I 
will say nothing. 

' We were born on this side the Yellowstone and were 
raised here. It is good land. There is plenty of good 
land here. Timber and grass and w^ater are plenty, and 
there is much game in the mountains. You talk about 
Judith Basin, and say you are going to give us plenty to 
eat. We do not want to exchange our land. You are 
my friend. If we were to go to the white man's country, 
and bloody it as they do our country, you would not like 
it. For many years I have known the whites. You have 
a big heart, but it is not so with the white men who come 
into my country. Some of them never sucked their 
mothers' breasts. I think they were raised like the 
buffalo, and sucked a buffalo cow for their mother. They 
have no hearts. I was not raised in that way. I am a 
man. I was raised and sucked milk from my mother's 
breasts. There is no white man's blood on our hands, 
and I am not ashamed to shake hands with you. What 
I say is true. I am your friend. The sun sees me, and 
hears what I say. The Great Spirit hears me, and knows 
it is true. Did I ask these white men to come here and 
crowd me ? Buffalo robes are my money ; we have some 
buffalo left yet. If I go to the buffalo country and bring 
no robes back, the traders will not look at me. They 
won't be glad to see me, and shake hands with me and 
say " How, how," as they would if I had plenty. I 
think you had better leave Pease with us as he was before. 
If you put anybody else here, very soon they will kick 
me in the face with their foot. All the men who have 
Crow women we don't want them sent away. They are 
my friends, and I want them to live as I do.' 

Speaking of the treaty of 1868, he said : ' It is all lies 



82 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

we do not want to hear any more. Wrap it up and throw 

it all away. We will not have that treaty We 

wanted to know jnst what was in that treaty, and my 
friend has told us. I have said before that we are friends, 
and that we like each other, yet we have different thoughts 
in our hearts. The first time I went to Fort Laramie and 
met the Peace Commissioners, to what each said to the 
other we said "Yes, yes." The second time we went, we 
signed the treaty ; but neither of us, my white friends nor 
the Indian chiefs, said '' Yes, yes " to what is in that 
treaty. What we said to them, and wliat they said to us, 
was, " Good." We said " Yes, yes " to it, but it is not in 
the treaty. Shane was there the first time, and what he 
interpreted to us are not the words that are in the treaty. 
The first time we went we did not sign the treaty ; we 
only said " Yes, yes " to each other. The Indian way of 
making a treaty is to Hght a pipe, and the Indians and 
their white friends smoke it. When we were in council 
at Laramie, we asked whether we might eat the buffalo for 
a long time. They said " Yes." That is not in the treaty. 
We told them we wanted a big country. They said we 
should have it, and that is not in the treaty. They pro- 
mised us plenty of goods and food for forty years — plenty 
for all the Crows to eat ; but that is not in the treaty. 
Listen to what I say. We asked, " Shall we and our 
children get food for forty years ? " They said " Yes ; " 
but it is not that way in the treaty. They told us when 
we got a good man for agent, he should stay with us ; 
but it is not so in the treaty. We asked that the white 
man's road along Powder Eiver be abandoned, and that 
the grass be permitted to grow in it. They said " Yes, 
yes ;" but it is not in the treaty. The land that we used 
to own we do not think of taking pay for. We used to 
own the land in the Mud Eiver Valley. These old Crows 



ANALYSING THE TREATY. 83 

you see here were born there. We owned Horse Creek, 
Stinking Water, and Heart's Mountain. Many of these 
Indians were born there. So we owned the country 
about Powder Eiver and Tongue Eiver, and many of our 
young men were born there. So we owned the mouth 
of Mussel Shell, and Crazy Mountain, and Judith Basin. 
Many of our children were born there. So we told the 
Commissioners. They said " Yes, yes ;" but there is 
nothing about it in the treaty. We told them there were 
many bad Indians, but that we would hold on to the 
hands of the white man, and would love each other. 
We told them the Piegans, the Sioux, and other tribes 
have killed white men. We told them the whites were 
afraid of them. I asked them to look at us ; that we 
had no arms, and they should not be afraid of the Crows. 
They said ''Yes, yes;" but it is not so written in the 
treaty. The treaty, you say, has bought all our land 
except on this side of the river. And what do we get 
for it P I am ashamed about it. We sell our land, and 
what do we get for it ? We get a pair of stockings, and 
when we put them on they go to pieces. They get some 
old shirts and have them washed, and give them to us ; 
we put them on and our elbows go right through them. 
They send us tin kettles ; we go to get water to carry to 
our lodges. We dip the water up, but it all runs out 

again. This is w^hat we get for our land They 

said, " Will you sell the Powder Eiver country, Judith 
Basin, and Wind Eiver country ? " I told them no ; but 
that is not in the treaty. When Major Camp came here 
as agent, we gave him a present of a large number of 
robes to send to the Great Father. We never heard that 
the Great Father got those robes ; we would hke to hear 
about them. The Crow tribe want Major Pease to remain 
with us as our agent. Some of the young men want him 



84 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

to take them to see the Great Father at Washington. 
You ask us to tell you what we want. We want Mexican 
blankets, elk teeth, beads, eagle feathers, panther and 
other skins. We hke fine horses and needle-guns. These 
things are to us what money is to you.' 

At the last three sittings of the council, the question 
of the new boundary was eagerly discussed. Blackfoot, 
who would be invaluable as an against- time talker, after 
making a very long speech to his own people, observed 
to Mr. Brunot — ' We have talked three days, and my 
tongue is not tired ' 

Mr. Brunot having explained the provisions of the 
new articles of agreement, Blackfoot proceeded to prove 
the vigour of his tongue : — 

' On this side of the river and on the other side is 
our country. If you do not know anything about it I 
will tell you about it, for I was raised here. You mark 
all our country, the streams and mountains, and I would 
hke to tell you about it ; and what I say I want you to 
take to your heart. You make us think a great deal 
to-day. I am a man and am talking to you. All the 
Indian tribes have not strong arms and brave hearts like 
we have ; they are not so brave. We love you and 
shake hands with you (taking Mr. Brunot's hand). We 
have gone to Judith Basin a great deal, and you wish 
us to take it for a reservation. All kinds of men go 
there ; trappers and hunters go there, poisoning game ; 
the Sioux Indians, Crees, Santees, Mandans, Assini- 
boins, Gros Ventres, Piegans, Pen d'Oreilles, Flat 
Heads, the Mountain Crows, the Eiver Crows, Bannacks, 
Snakes, and Nez Perce Indians, and white people, all 
go there. You wish us to take the Judith Basin for a 
reservation. All these Indians will come, and we will 
likely quarrel ; that is what we think about it. Judith 



BLACKFOOT EXPATIATES. 85 

Basin is a small basin, a good many people go there ; we 
all go there to eat buffalo. I have told you about the 
Sioux when they come to fight us. We go a long way 
from our camp. All Indians are not as strong as we 
are ; they give up and run off. If you have two dogs, 
and they go to fight, and you catch them and pull them 
apart, when you let them go they fight again. So it is 

with the Sioux and the Crows I will tell you 

what we will do ; neither of us will five for ever ; in 
time both of us will die. We will sell the part of our 
reservation containing the mountains from Clarke's Fork ; 
below the mountains and the valleys we will not sell. 
The Crow young men will go to Washington and fix 
it up, and come back and tell us about it. We will 
sell the range of mountains to Heart's Mountain and 
Clarke's Fork. The young men will sell it at Washington, 
and they will say to the Great Father at Washington 
that the Crows have a strong heart and are willing to 
sell their land. When you buy this and give us plenty 
for it, we will talk about the rest if you wish to buy it. 
Those mountains are full of mines. The whites think 
we don't know about the mines, but we do. We will 
sell you a big country, all the mountains. JSTow tell us 

what you are going to give for our mountains 

I want to know what you will give for the mountains ; 

then we will talk about the rest of our land 

In Gallatin Valley are plenty of cartridges, the Crows 
have none. If the Sioux come, I do not know what we 
shall fight them with. See all these old women ; they 
have no clothing, the young men have no good blankets. 
We would like the Nez Perces, when they raise camp, 
to come here ; they die with the Crows, they help to 
fight the Sioux. The last Commission told us we could 
eat buffalo a long time. While we are here the Flat Head 

H 



86 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

Indians take our horses ; I would like you to take our 
part and stop tliem.' 

At last, however, Blackfoot, finding himself in a 
minority, gave in, and the treaty was agreed to and signed. 
Poor fellows ! Driven about from pillar to post, it will 
not be for long that your unreasonableness in persever- 
ing to exist, and your impudence in supposing that you 
have any right to do so, will trouble statesmen. And 
what conflicting accounts will be given of you, varying 
from the poetical and exaggerated but most fascinating 
delineations of Fenimore Cooper, down to the equally 
untrue clictum of the prairie man, who thinks that ' all 
Injuns are pison ' ! 

Blackfoot may fairly be regarded as a representative 
man. Superior to the mass of Eed Indians, he is a good 
specimen of the ruling class among them. Endowed in 
no slight degree with the gift of eloquence, and, as the 
preceding quotations sufficiently testify, provided Vith a 
sharp tongue to give utterance to the suggestions of a keen 
and caustic wit, he is one of many of his race who, had 
they been properly directed, might have exerted their 
well-merited influence in the improvement of the condi- 
tion of their tribe. To call such a man a mere savage, 
and to assert that his race are irreclaimable barbarians 
who should no longer be allowed to cumber the ground, 
is as untruthful as it is absurd. I am glad to be able 
to submit the foregoing extracts to the reader. They 
will serve to show what manner of man the Indian 
really is. 

There were a good many Crows at the Agency when 
I arrived, and I was formally introduced to several of the 
leading men. The accompanying illustration is an accu- 
rate representation of five of them. They are invariably 
named from some peculiarity of appearance, or some 



1 



/t^^^wftici^ /7*<.*»*. «5^^oi^ /fiiii^^ «^* /ir?/. 







EUPHONIOUS TITLES. 87 

striking incident in their lives ; and the names in some 
instances are very expressive, such as — 

Thin Belly — Ella-causs-se. 

Shot in the Jaw — Esa-woor. 

Boy that Grabs — Seeateots. 

Eides behind a Man on Horseback — Ma-me-ri-ke-ish, 

Charge through the Camp — Ash-e-ri-i-was-sash. 

How other names were obtained it is not so easy to 
see, such for instance as — 
Old Onion — Mit-hu-a. 
Calf in the Mouth — Nak-pak-a-e ; 

which are rather puzzling. A few might be appropriately 
applied to our own friends, such as — 

The One who Hunts his Debt — Ash-e-te-si-Oish. 

During the evening a number of them came up from 
the camp and gave us a coup dance. Among those pre- 
sent at the dance were Blackfoot, Little Soldier, The 
Spaniard, Boy that Grabs, Two Bellies, Pretty Bird, and 
several other notabilities whose names have escaped my 
memory. Blackfoot and an old medicine-man were 
masters of the ceremonies and conducted the arrange- 
ments, but took no active part themselves. 

A coup dance, as it is called by the whites, is not a 
dance at all. The Indians call it counting their coiips^ 
and it is a sort of history lesson in which the young 
braves and warriors narrate their deeds in war, an 
interlude of stamping and singing taking place between 
each speech. As each adventure is detailed, those 
among the crowd of listeners who can bear witness 
to the truth of the speaker's statement strike the ground 
with their whip-handles in token of approval ; and it is 
customary for the speaker at the close of each description 

H 2 



88 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

to pl*oduce the trophies which he won on tliat particular 
occasion — a gun, a club, a pistol, and perhaps a scalp. 
Thus the records of the tribe are kept green and fresh in 
the people's memories. Old feuds are fanned and kept 
alive, and the young men are urged to emulate the 
brave deeds of their fathers by hearing those deeds 
proclaimed and applauded. 

At one end of a large room sat the agent, Dr. Wright, 
one or two white squaw men,^ the interpreter, and all 
the rest of us ; before us lay spread in tempting show a 
large sack of sugar, a great pile of gingerbread-nuts, a 
box of black tobacco, and a lot of cartridges ; and 
along the other three sides were ranged the Indians. 
The subhme and the ridiculous, the comic and the tragic 
element, are so absurdly blended in these people that at 
one moment you are convulsed with laughter at their 
ludicrous appearance, and at the next are astonished at 
the dignity of their gestures, the ease of their carriage, 
and the grand simplicity of their movements. It is but 
fair to say that the ludicrous element is due to the 
adoption of articles of civilised dress which do not accord 
well with their native attire. There were twenty or 
thirty Indians present. With the exception of Blackfoot, 
who wore only a shirt of grey flannel and a blanket, 
they were dressed in all their finery ; and their costumes 
were varied and peculiar, the only garments common 
to all being the waist-cloth and moccasins. Some used 
leggings of antelope or deer skin, fringed with human 
hair ; others preferred them made of scarlet or blue cloth ; 
while many dispensed with them altogether. Flannel and 
cotton shirts were rather fashionable, but the great swells 

^ ' Squaw man ' is a term commonly used to describe a white man mar- 
ried to, and living with, an Indian woman. He draws annuity goods, and is 
to all intents and purposes a Ked Man. 



VARIETIES OF COSTUME. 89 

sported shirts, or rather tunics, of buckskin embroidered, 
fringed, and adorned with skins of the ermine weasel. 
Every man carried a blanket — scarlet, green, or striped ; 
some had fabricated them into a rude resemblance to a 
Mackinaw coat or Hudson's Bay Company capote : but in 
most cases they were just thrown over the shoulders or 
belted round the waist. The correct thing — the latest 
novelty out — was a short braided cavalry jacket, or very 
skimpy diminutive tail-coat, such as one may see in old 
pictures of postilions. The varieties of head-dress were 
very numerous. The most approved style was a tall 
puritanical-looking hard felt hat, encircled by several 
bands of tri-coloured ribbon tied in bows, the loose ends 
being suffered to hang down on either side. A few of 
the braves wore ordinary felt hats. Some had beautiful 
feather- work head-gear, while others were content to pride 
themselves upon the natural luxuriance of their heavy 
plaits. Of course those who were apparelled in their 
native costume looked well, in our eyes at least, while 
there was something exceedingly mirth-provoking in the 
aspect of the warriors who sported the short-tailed coats 
and tall hats. They presented somewhat the appearance 
of French revolutionists, and looked as if they had 
bought up the properties of some strolling company. All 
the Indians had left their weapons outside with their 
ponies, but each man carried, suspended to his wrist, his 
whip, which consisted of a very thick heavy wooden or 
elk-horn handle about 18 inches long, with two or three 
elk-hide thongs as a lash. The whip is in reality a formid- 
able club. 

The Indian is by no means the taciturn, melancholy 
individual he has been described to be. On the contrary, 
when he has enough to eat and is warm he is loquacious 
enough, and is a very jovial, joke-loving fellow. When 



90 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

we entered the room we found the chiefs and braves all 
seated round, leaning against the walls, smoking, laughing, 
talking, and carrying on great chaff with the interpreter, 
who was bantering them upon their love affairs, and 
displayed an intimate acquaintance with the domestic 
vicissitudes of some of the party, which was much relished 
by the others. The doorway was blocked by a mass of 
boys and youths who had come to hold the ponies and 
attend upon their elders and betters. 

The ceremonies on this occasion were opened by 
Dr. Wright, who put me forward, blushing in a dirty 
flannel shirt, to be glared at by the assembled braves, 
while he made a speech introducing me. Every sentence 
had of course to be interpreted, and it took therefore 
some little time to explain, in flowery and poetic language, 
how I had travelled so many moons to see the Crows ; 
how I had crossed great oceans in big canoes ; traversed 
prairies, swum rivers, scaled mountains, and all to have 
the honour of seeing the Crows. In fact, according to 
the eloquent doctor, the supreme moment of my life had 
arrived ; the aim of my existence was gained : — I had 
seen the Crows ! All this time I stood in the middle of 
the room, feeling very uncomfortable, trying to look 
dignified in shirt and trousers, — which is an impossible 
feat, — and not knowing what the mischief to do with 
my hands ; for, the room being very hot, I had taken off 
my coat and waistcoat, and my deer-skin continuations 
were not endowed with pockets. When he had made 
an end of speaking, I lifted up my voice, and, in shaky 
accents, told them that I was unaccustomed to public 
speaking, that I had come a long way to see them, that 
I was very glad to see them, and that I considered them 
to be, to quote from a well-known story, ' Crows, very 
fine Crows, d — d fine Crows, the finest Crows I ever 



xMY INTRODUCTION TO THE CROWS. 91 

saw in my life.' I then deposited myself on an empty 
candle-box, but had to get up again to shake hands with 
every individual in the room, each man approaching 
me singly, taking my hand with a grip that sometimes was 
unpleasantly warm, shaking it in a most affectionate 
manner, the while gazing solemnly into my eyes, and 
gutturally emitting ' How ! ' — to which salutation I with 
much dignity responded ' How ! ' After this Blackfoot 
got up and made an oration, dilating upon the extreme 
poverty of himself and his nation, expatiating upon the 
great virtues of wool, especially in the form of blankets, 
in counteracting the bad effects of cold, and extolling 
the hygienic properties of flannel shirts. It was a fine 
speech to have delivered before a Dorcas Society. I 
thought the allusions and hints were somewhat pointed, 
but gave them to understand that a few blankets might 
be forthcoming if they gave us some good dancing, an 
intimation that was received with a grunt of applause. 

I cannot describe an Indian dance. The only way to 
convey an idea of it would be for me to put on a blanket 
and 'jump around loose,' and for some one else to take 
shorthand notes of my appearance and antics. I tried 
it the other day in my Enghsh home : but the shorthand 
writer had a fit ; my elder children howled in terror ; the 
baby went into convulsions, and had oil poured on its 
head ; the wife of my bosom fled shrieking from the 
room, and my nearest male relative threatened to apply 
for a writ ' de lunatico ; ' so I abandoned the attempt. 

Indian singing, too, is very peculiar, and their dances 
are usually accompanied by a song. They have their 
religious songs, their war-songs, their death-songs, their 
mysterious medicine-songs. 

When a chief wishes to organise a war-party, he goes 
out himself to recruit, and, having no military band to 



92 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

help him, is obhged to make great play with his own 
lungs. He paints and feathers himself, dances his war- 
" dance, and sings the song of battle. Thus does he fire 
the inflammable hearts of the young men, who also feather 
and paint, mingle then- yells with his, and join him in 
striking the war-post. It is the same all over the world. 
I wonder how many 'civilised' deaths are due to the 
screams of the maddening bag-pipe, the shrill notes of the 
fife, the exciting roll of the drum, or the pulse-quicken- 
ing war-strains of a brass band ! 

At their religious ceremonies they sing and dance, even 
as David did before the Ark. 

If death is imminent, and if he wish to die, the Indian 
will fold his blanket around him, lie down, and sing him- 
self clean out of the flesh ; for in common, as I believe, 
with all natural peoples he can help to loosen the 
fetters that bind his spirit, and assist himself to die. 

His medicine-song is very sacred, and is most reh- 
giously reserved for his own and his guardian spirit's ears 
alone. About the time that a youth enters upon man- 
hood, and before he embarks upon any serious under- 
taking, he goes away by himself and fasts for many 
days. In his dreams he then sees mapped out his 
course through life, and learns whether he is to strive to 
be a warrior, a peace-chief, or a medicine-man. What- 
ever animal — beast, bird, or fish — then appears to him, he 
takes as representing his guardian spirit. However 
pressed by hunger, he will not kiU or injure that creature, 
and to it he addresses himself in his medicine-song, 
which, though to our ears a string of utter nonsense, is 
to him a" serious and sacred composition. These are aU 
songs with words, but, like Mendelssohn, they are very 
great at songs without words. All their ceremonies are* 
accompanied by a rhythmical chant, to the tune of which 



A 'COUP' DANCE. 93 

the feet and hands keep accurate time. The music con- 
sists of guttural exclamations, or rather of a violent 
jerking out of all the breath in the body. They expel 
the sounds spasmodically from the caverns of their broad 
chests, with their mouths open, or hiss them out savagely 
through the closed teeth. They sit in a circle, their bodies 
bending, their heads nodding, feet going, all in most 
perfect time, gradually growing more and more excited, 
till every muscle and nerve jerks' and twitches in unison 
with the stamp of the feet and the taps of the drum. 
There is such a rhythm and ' go,' such an amount of 
nervous energy and physical force is exhibited, that the 
excitement is contagious, and it is hard to restrain one's- 
self from joining in. I should hke to go into the subject 
of the origin of Indian dances, whether religious or other- 
wise, but it is too large a question to embark upon now. 
Personally, I delight in witnessing them. But to return 
to our coup dance. 

After a short silence an old medicine-man led off, 
chanting to a drum accompaniment a monotonous song. 
He was speedily joined by the rest, and away they all 
went at score, squatted on their haunches on the floor, 
hands, feet, and head all keeping time to the music, 
which consisted of sharp, energetic ejaculations — ' Hey 
ah ! hi hi ah ! hiyah hi hiyah ! ' &c. &c., expelled 
convulsively from the chest. They kept this going till 
they had worked themselves up to the proper pitch of 
excitement, and then from the far end of the room a tall 
young man arose, and, gathering up the folds of his 
blanket, stood in the centre of the floor. He wore the 
universal waist-cloth ; scarlet cloth leggings and beaded 
moccasins covered his legs and feet ; and a sleeveless 
deer-skin shirt or tunic, fringed with ermine skins, half 
concealed his brawny chest. He wore no head -gear 



94 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

to adorn the long luxuriance of his coarse black hair. 
His arms were bare and circled with bracelets. 

For a minute he stood, his left foot slightly advanced, a 
perfect picture of natural dignity and ease, looking proudly 
around him ; then sweeping back his robe and making a 
circling gesture as though to signify that he addressed 
himself to the whole assembly, he advanced a step or 
two, stretched out his right arm with a grand gesture, and 
commenced to speak. I could not of course understand 
a word that he said, but you can gather a great deal of 
an Indian's meaning without knowing one syllable of his 
language, so appropriate and well chosen are his gestures 
and actions. In fact, two good sign-talkers can converse 
fluently together without the utterance of a word. It is 
a curious fact, and worthy the notice of ethnologists, that 
whereas some of the plain tribes talk by signs very well, 
others, to whom this method of imparting information and 
obtaining knowledge is equally important, have never 
been capable of acquiring the art. Well, this young brave 
postured so cleverly, and signified so plainly by his signs 
what he was doing, how long he was out, when he met 
his enemy, &c. &c. ; so faithfully delineated all the circum- 
stances of the fight and the result of it, that I could 
pretty well make out his meaning without the aid of the 
interpreter, who rendered into English his actual words. 

His speech, being very liberally translated, was some- 
what in this style : — ' Oh ka he ! ' he said, ' oh ka he ; 
hsten to me. It was last spring, soon after the snows had 
melted from the hills, about the time when those infernal 
east winds do blow, raising clouds of dust in the King's 
Koad, Chelsea, that I and five others (Charley Smashington 
led the party) who had come up to town to see the Oxford 
and Cambridge boat race, drove up to Cremorne in two 
hansoms. We were in our war-paint, white ties encircled 



FREE VERSION OF A BRAVE'S SPEECH. 95 

our necks, our feet were shod in patent leather ; our hearts 
were good, our backs strong, our beUies full of inferior 
dinner and bad wine. We were all partially disguised in 
liquor, and our hearts and faces were Light Blue. Elated 
with our late triumph, we danced the valse-dance far into 
the night, and loudly proclaimed the great deeds of our 
tribe and jeered at the insignificant Dark Blue. I was 
standing on a chair waving a champagne bottle round my 
head, when without a moment's warning the war-cry of the 
Dark Blues rang through the air. I received the contents 
of a tumbler of B. and S. full in the face, and, stunned 
and dripping with drink, was pulled out of the conflict by 
my friends and my heels. 

' What a row there was ! — bottles flying, glasses smash- 
ing, tables falling, fists smacking, yells, howls, screams, 
oaths, and every other kind of missile hurled through the 
air. I espied a timid youth in spectacles crawling terror- 
stricken beneath a table. Yelling " I'll have those gig- 
lamps," I sprang upon him ; with one blow I knocked his 
hat ofi'; another, and the crimson flood flowed out upon 
his vest ; I dashed the glasses from his face, I ground 
him in the dust, I tore the reeking necktie from his dis- 
honoured head, and with a howl of triumph fled from 
the scene, followed by my friends. They are here, and 
know that my tongue is not forked, and that I speak 
straight, and here is the tie.' After waiting for the 
witnesses of his deeds to corroborate his statement he 
proceeded to other topics. 

And so every brave in turn graphically narrated to 
us his deeds ; described his fights with Black Feet or 
Assiniboins, upon the Sun, the Marias, or the Milk 
Elvers ; and told of his encounters with the Sioux in the 
Judith Basin, or on the Missouri, producing as trophies of 
his valour the scalps torn from the heads of enemies, and 



96 THE GREAT DIVIDE, 

laying down as evidence of his truthfulness the guns and 
pistols captured from them. And after each speech 
we had a chorus of ' He hi hiyah hiyah ! Hi hiyah 
hiyah ! ' 

After this we all smoked, and Blackfoot delivered 
another oration, still harping upon the same string, and 
explaining the marvellous properties of woollen blankets 
and flannel shirts ; and, being a practical man, he also took 
occasion to speak to the agent about some cattle-straying 
and horse-stealing grievances. 

Then, when the performers were rested, they indulged 
in some more violent exercise in the shape of bull-dances 
and bear-dances, dances mimicking the chase and war. 
About a dozen of the braves got together in a corner and 
formed a small circle, sitting close together and facing in- 
wards, and commenced to sing. On this occasion the tune 
was faster and more lively, and the inflexion of their voices 
much greater. They ran up and down the scale, from 
shrill falsetto to the lowest rumbling of a basso profundo 
with a cold in his head. They broke out occasionally 
into most awful war-whoops, yells, and whistlings. They 
rattled gourds and banged drums, and made altogether a 
most diabolical and highly exciting row. Their heads all 
bobbed in unison ; their elbows began to work ; faster and 
faster went the music, louder and louder grew the din; 
and then, as they warmed up to the proper pitch, the 
outsiders would start up, bound into the centre of the 
floor, and form a large circle facing inwards and re- 
volving round the room. Sometimes they would all 
spring round and face us, grimacing and contorting their 
bodies, their facial muscles and their limbs working and 
writhing with nervous excitement. Then they would 
jump round again, and present a back view to our gaze. 
High in the air they would leap, coming down with a 



IN THE THICK OF IT. 97 

spank of their flat moccasiDed feet upon the boards that 
made the rafters ring again. Now they would imitate 
the death of a bufialo, phmging headlong on the floor, 
rolling over and over in apparent agonies ; now, mimick- 
ing attack, pursuit, or flight, they would yell their war- 
cries, and brandish their guns and pistols. Their bodies 
quivered with emotion, and perspiration poured from their 
faces ; but the singers kept stimulating them to renewed 
exertion. They had no time to rest except when some- 
times the music would slacken a little, and they would 
all join in a circle and sidle gently round the room. 
There was one old fellow whose appearance on these oc- 
casions, as viewed from behind, was very absurd. He 
was a middle-aged man and very stout ; he wore a waist- 
cloth and leggings. Now an Indian's leggings reach only 
half way up the thigh ; there is a spacious hiatus between 
them and the waist-cloth. In fact, when an Indian sits 
down he does not sit on his leggings, or on anything 
else except his own skin. A very short-tailed coat 
covered his shoulders, and his hair hung down behind in 
long plaits ; he had cast aside his blanket, and a felt hat 
was on his head. When he capered facing inwards, 
brandishing a pistol in one hand, and a rifle in the other, his 
flesh shaking and quivering in a jelly-like manner, and his 
little coat-tails and long hair flapping up and down, it 
was almost too much ; and it was with difl&culty that we 
maintained a decorum suitable to the occasion. 

It was midnight before they finished the bull-dance ; 
yet they showed no signs of exhaustion, and would no 
doubt have gone on till morning : but the room, even 
when we entered it, was warm ; a stove burnt fiercely 
at one end, the door was blocked with human beings ; 
and after two or three hours of dancing and perspir- 
ing, what little oxygen the apartment had originally 



98 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

contained had been replaced by free Indian, and the 
atmosphere became stifling and oppressive. So after a 
few comphmentary speeches, and an invitation given 
and accepted to visit the camp next day, we separated, 
the Indians riding back to their lodges and the whites 
retiring to bed. 

The following morning Mr. Shane, the interpreter, and 
I rode dowm to the Crow village. 

The lodges are tall, circular dwellings, composed of 
long fir-poles planted on a circle in the ground. These 
slope inwards and form a cone, meeting and leaning 
against each other at the apex ; and upon them is stretched 
a covering of buffalo hides. They make very comfortable, 
clean and airy houses, and are far preferable to any tent, 
being much warmer in winter and cooler in summer. A 
tepee will hold from twelve to fifteen or even twenty 
individuals ; several famiUes, therefore, generally occupy 
one in common. The earth is beaten down hard, forming 
a smooth floor, and in the middle burns the fire, the smoke 
finding an exit through an aperture at the top. The por- 
tions of the tepee assigned to each family or couple are 
divided by a kind of wicker-work screen at the head and 
foot, separating a segment of a circle of about eight or 
ten feet in length and five or six in breadth, closed by the 
screen at either end, and at the outer side by the wall of 
the lodge, but being open towards the interior. The fire 
is common property, and has a certain amount of reve- 
rence paid to it. It is considered very bad manners, for 
instance, to step between the fire and the place where 
the head man sits. All round, on the lodge poles and on 
the screens, are suspended the arms, clothing, finery, and 
equipment of the men and their horses. Each lodge 
forms a little community in itself. 

The tepees are pitched with all the regularity of an 



A CROW VILLAGE. 99 

organised camp, in a large circle, inside wliicli the stock is 
driven at night or on an alarm or occasion of danger. 
Outside the door is stuck a spear or pole, on which is 
suspended the shield of the chief and a mysterious 
something tied up in a bundle, which is great medicine. 
If a hawk or eagle happens to be the totem of the chief, 
one of those birds will very commonly be seen perched 
on the shield. These totems are, in fact, their escut- 
cheons or coats of arms, and they are exhibited without 
the lodge in the same manner as and for the same reason 
that knights used to display their shields and banners 
before their tents. 

Let us suppose that we dismount and picket our horses 
at the lodge of the ' Bear that sits on his haunches,' or 
some other warrior of renown. A few grave, dignified 
braves saunter up and look at us with a mixture of 
curiosity and contempt ; a lot of obese little boys and 
girls, stark naked, gaze with undisguised astonishment ; 
and a crowd of laughing, chaffing youngsters, clothed 
in the inevitable blanket, gather round. Some are 
completely shrouded in the folds of their blankets, 
but others, the day being warm, have lifted their skirts 
rather high. An Indian youth of sixteen or seventeen 
is generally very tall, thin, and angular, and if, as is 
sometimes the case, he has for coolness gathered his 
blanket up about his shoulders, his aspect is very 
peculiar. The interpreter sticks his head through the 
opening, pulling aside the buffalo hide that serves for a 
door, and, stooping low, draws himself into the tent. I 
follow, and, stepping carefully round the far side of the 
fire, seat myself by the chief, shake hands, and say ' How ! ' 

This tepee was shared by three families. In one com- 
partment were seated, on soft bufialo robes, the chief and 
myself; in another were two women, young and rather 



100 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

comely, and several papooses ; incumbrances of the chief, 
— though among savages wife and children can scarcely 
be called incumbrances. In a third lay a very old man 
and an extremely fat woman, with whom the interpreter 
struck up an animated conversation, which, to judge by 
her wrigglings and giggling, must have been highly com- 
plimentary. Nature had made a good deal of her, and 
she was accustomed to being made still more of by the 
men, for her proportions were vast, and fat is highly prized 
among all dwellers in cold climates ; and for that matter, 
I believe, by nearly all savages, in whatever clime they 
live. A fourth division was occupied by a young couple, 
a nice clean-looking girl and a fine tall young man, who 
was evidently a great dandy, being feathered, painted, 
and dressed in his best clothes. A woman was bending 
over the fire looking after some cooking, and in a corner 
lay a man fiat on his back and fast asleep. A lot of 
starved dogs were driven out when we entered, and the 
aperture through which we had come was speedily filled 
with peering curious faces of small boys and girls. 

The young couple attracted my attention ; they ap- 
peared so fond of each other that I judged they must 
be a newly-married pair. The wife had not got a 
new dressing-case and did not appear elated, neither did 
the man look conscious or uncomfortable ; but there were 
other signs sufficient to enable one to form a correct 
diagnosis. When we came in they were engaged in the 
pleasant pastime of eating beans and grease together out of 
the same dish. The repast finished, she reclined grace- 
fully against a lodge pole, and he, covering his lithe limbs 
in the folds of his blanket, stretched himself out — replete, 
happy, and full of beans — to repose his head upon her lap, 
and to his head she without more ado appHed herself. I 
thought she was going to plait his hair ; but no, it was on 



PIPE ETIQUETTE. 101 

a far nobler errand that her nimble fingers so swiftly sped. 
Man does not monopolise the pleasures of the chase, 
though he alone pursues the plodding buffalo and jumping 
deer. For his helpmate is reserved a smaller but more 
vivacious species of game, in the pursuit and capture of 
which she must take great delight, to judge by the interest 
portrayed in this case on the countenance of the lady, as 
with unerring eye and unfaltering hand she, through the 
thick tangles of her husband's hair, hotly pressed the 
bounding fugitive, or, like the relentless bloodhound, 
surely tracked to his lair the slow-crawhng and unmen- 
tionable one. 

Of course the pipe was not long in making its appear- 
ance, since nothing can be done in an Indian's house with- 
out that implement. A young man cut up some black 
plug tobacco on a board, mixed it with willow bark, filled 
the calumet, stuck a hot ember in the bowl, and presented 
it to the chief. He first blew a whifF to each of the four 
quarters, to the earth, and the sky, then drew a volume of 
smoke into his own interior, expelled it (I don't mean his 
interior, but the smoke) slowly with a satisfied sigh, and 
handed the pipe to me. I took a pull or two and passed 
it on, and so it went to each man from right to left. The 
pipe must never be passed against the sun ; but, when the 
last man to the left of the starting-point has smoked, it 
must be handed across and sent round again from right 
to left. 

After the smoke we had some dried meat and coffee, 
and then the son of the chief, a little fellow about ^\^q or 
six years old, stark naked, with his little stomach sticking 
out like a drowned puppy, came and presented me with a 
handsome pair of embroidered moccasins. The gift was 
accompanied by a very pretty and hospitable speech from 
the father to the eJBfect that he was very sorry he had 
I 



102 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

nothing better to give me, but that he had done the best 
he could ; that he was very glad to see me ; that he was a 
great warrior and a great hunter ; that he lived on hunt- 
ing, and cared only for hunting. All w^as said in the 
simple, poetical, eloquent language that Indians invariably 
employ. 

Then I noticed that his arm had once been broken, 
and questioned him about it ; and it turned out that it 
had been done by a bear, and that led to the whole story, 
so graphically told, and with such an infinite variety of 
appropriate action, that I only wish I could attempt to re- 
peat it. He observed that I wore a dog- whistle made 
out of an alligator's tooth, and of course he must needs 
know all about that ; and I had to try and convey to his 
mind some idea of Florida, and what sort of beast an 
alligator was, all of which was, I daresay, retailed to the 
rest of the tribe with such embelhshments that they pro- 
bably put me down as the biggest liar who had ever come 
out of the East. 

And so an hour or two went quickly by ; and, having 
many visits of ceremony to pay, we shook hands, 
' howed ! ' and departed to another lodge. In every tepee 
we met with the same sort of reception ; drank some coffee, 
tasted a morsel of meat out of compliment, and smoked. 
The chief would then present me with something — a, 
buffalo robe, a knife scabbard, or pair of embroidered 
leggings ; apologising for the insignificance of the offering, 
and making a speech to welcome the stranger and to 
extol himself, something to the effect that he was glad to 
see you in his house ; that his heart was open and felt 
good towards you ; that he was a great man and had struck 
many enemies ; that this scar was received in battle with 
the Sioux, that in a skirmish with the Black Feet ; that 
he was and always would be friendly to the whites ; that 



THE GAME OF 'CACHE: 103 

he was a hunter, and would always live by hunting; 
that to eat the flesh of buffalo was his great delight ; that 
he was fond of elk, deer, and all small game, and that 
to chase them was what his heart loved best. As we were 
returning to our horses I was attracted by a great drum- 
ming and singing going on in a lodge ; and looking in we 
found six men gambling for the cartridges they had re- 
ceived the preceding night. They were playing at a 
game of chance called ' Cache.' On the floor, in the 
centre of the lodge, was spread a large buffalo robe to 
form the gaming-table, and on either side of this knelt, or 
squatted, four young men facing each other. 

The play of ' Cache ' is a game which, like Ah 
Sing, 'I do not understand.' It is a pretty pastime, 
and somewhat resembles the noble, physiognomical, and 
instructive game of Coddam. In fact, the latter is but 
a civilised development of the former. In the one case 
half-a-crown is used — that is to say, in polite circles ; 
lower in the social scale, the more cumbrous and odorifer- 
ous penny may be substituted ; in the other case, the 
players have not got half-a-crown or even a penny, and 
so a piece of shell or bit of bone takes the place of the 
circulating medium. 

As far as I could judge, Cache is played in the follow- 
ing manner. A buffalo robe or blanket usurps the uses of 
a table, and the performers gamble with an amount of 
liveliness and animation that would not be tolerated in 
the serene circles of polite society ; betraying their hap- 
piness at winning, and their disgust and disappointment 
at losing, with a childlike simplicity and guilelessness 
that, while gratifying to one's moral sense, is occasionally 
inconvenient to one's personality. 

In one way civilised performers surpass savage 
players. Careful study and lifelong attention paid to the 

i2 



104 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

art of unblushingly deceiving their friends, and incessant 
practice in telling taradiddles — varying in grade and 
texture from the delicately tinted and neatly fashioned 
white lie up to the crude, rough-hewn, stupendous 
crammer — have resulted in the acquirement by most 
educated beings of a power of controlHng the counte- 
nance and concealing the emotions that is invalu- 
able in such games as poker, brag, or coddam. In this 
respect poor Mr. Lo ^ cannot compete with us. His 
ingenuous countenance betrays all too readily — the allu- 
sion is not to blushing — the passing emotions of his soul ; 
his ' untutored mind ' leads him to express freely and 
forcibly the feelings of rage or exultation that agitate it, 
and so he is obliged to keep up a continual singing, 
drumming, and brandishing of his arms, to conceal by 
outward movements the varying passions that agitate 
him within. 

The game of Cache may be played by any number of 
persons, half being on one side and half on the other. 
The performers sit or kneel upon the ground opposite 
each other in two lines, a couple of yards or so asunder. 
Each party has a drum, and on this instrument the man 
stationed at the further end of the room keeps up, while 
his side is in, an incessant banging and tamborining (if I 
may be allowed to coin the word), hoping thereby to 
encourage the holder of the cache in his efforts at dissi- 
mulation, and trying to bewilder his adversary and thwart 
him in his attempts at discovery. The stakes having 
been agreed upon, they are j^laced upon the robe ; an equal 
number of small sticks are given to the two leaders where- 
with to score, and play commences. 

^ Throughout America, but principally in the Oanadas, the Indian is 
called Mr. Lo, from Pope's lines in the ' Essay on Man/ beginning, ' Lo ! the 
poor Indian.' 



EXCITING PASTIME. 105 

The man on the left of the line takes in his hand the 
cache, which consists of a certain number of bits of bone 
or shell, or buttons — in fact, any small objects will do. 
He sits opposite the player who has to guess, and his 
great object is of course to deceive him and prevent him 
from indicating correctly which of his hands contains the 
bones or shells. With great rapidity and much violence 
of gesticulation he brandishes his arms, flourishing them 
in the face of his adversary, slipping his hands behind his 
own back, shaking them above his head, and continually 
passing and shifting the cache from one to the other. 
The drummer whacks upon his drum, and pumps out a 
spasmodic song ; his companions slap their hands, jerk 
their bodies, and grunt in unison ; and the player, stimu- 
lated by the contagion of their rhythmical excitement, 
becomes more and more wild, and at last, when he 
thinks that his opponent is quite confused, dashes out 
both clenched fists and leaves him to guess in which 
hand and in what position lies the cache. If he in- 
dicates the wrong hand, his party lose one point. The 
holder of the cache goes on again, and his side set up 
one stick. 

Each player has a certain number of chances, and, 
when he has expended them all, he goes out till his turn 
comes round again, and the next man has the guess. 
Every time some one guesses correctly the cache is trans- 
ferred to his side, and the others have in their turn to try 
and discover who has possession of it. Occasionally a 
man is found out directly ; sometimes a player is so 
lucky and can so skilfully deceive his adversaries that 
he scores ever so many points before he is put out. Thus 
they go on winning and losing, putting up sticks and 
having them taken down again, until one side or the 
other have got possession of all the markers, when the 



106 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

game is over, and the stakes are paid to the fortunate 
party and divided among them. 

When we looked in the game was at a most critical 
stage. One side had acquired very nearly all the sticks ; they 
held the cache, and the others were pointing and pointing 
very unsuccessfully. The winning side looked triumphant. 
The fellow with the cache shook and brandished his fists, 
and dashed them out confidently, as much as to say, 
' You know you can't ; you will never guess it right/ 
The opposite players were frantic ; their drummer beat 
with all his might ; they spirted out their song through 
their set teeth in sharp spasmodic jets; they violently 
struck their ribs with both elbows in unison with the 
time, expelling their breath in guttural grunts ; their 
bodies shook, their muscles quivered and twitched with 
intense excitement ; the veins in their temples stood out 
in knots, and beads of sweat trickled from their brows. 
Their eyes were starting from their heads with eagerness, 
as they noticed the rapidly diminishing pile of sticks, and 
watched the actions of their guesser. He literally danced 
upon the ground as he sat — if a man in such a position 
can be said to dance. He seemed an incarnation of ner- 
vous energy, and his anxiety as he threw out his hand 
and guessed was painful to see. The better to get at his 
naked body he held the tail of his shirt in his teeth, and 
at each unsuccessful venture he would smite his open 
palm with a resounding smack upon his brawny ribs, 
throw his body back on to his heels and swing it about, 
dashing his hands together above his head, as if suppli- 
cating for better luck next time. 

We did not stop to see the end of the game, but alto- 
gether it appeared to be a fine pastime, and would be 
useful I am sure at home, to burn up superfluous carbon 
on wet days when the soul-destroying croquet or most 



A GRACIOUS INVITATION. 107 

excellent game of lawn-tennis cannot be indulged in. 
There might be some difficulty about the adaptation, 
however; our clothes certainly would be somewhat in the 
way ; and without the power of smacking one's-self, or, at 
any rate, one's neighbour, if one were losing, the game 
would lack half its charm. 

After seeing all that was worthy of notice in the camp 
we rode back to the Mission, and that evening met all the 
chiefs again. I distributed a few blankets among them ; 
and Dr. Wright made a speech recommending them to 
come to Sunday School, at which they all grunted. One 
of them then got up and invited me formally to accompany 
them and the Bannacks on their annual fall hunt in the 
Judith Basin ; and, when I reluctantly refused, they wished 
me all sorts of good luck in hunting, and begged me to 
make good medicine for them. I promised to do so, and 
in turn wished them ' heaps of buffalo and plenty of good 
wind to hunt them, an open winter, and not much snow ;' 
which sentiment they very much applauded, striking the 
floor with their whip-handles, and ejaculating an un- 
spellable exclamation which Fenimore Cooper writes hugh^ 
but which sounds to me more like ahe. 

They were very pressing in their invitation to join in 
their buffalo hunt ; and I regretted not being able to do so. 
I should have been treated with great consideration. For 
an honoured guest the best lodging and food are prepared, 
and all that the wild man thinks best in the world would 
have been freely given. Many little delicate attentions, 
flattering but awkward, would have been paid to me. I 
should have had a tepee to myself with heaps of buffalo 
robes, and replete with all the comforts of camp, and all 
the luxuries in and out of season. Plenty of food for 
myself, lots of grass for my horses, a damsel strong and 
vigorous to cut grass and wood, draw water, and attend 



108 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

to the external economy of the establishment ; and a more 
interesting young person to do the cooking, spread the 
robes, sew on my buttons, minister to all my personal 
wants, and look after the interior household arrangements, 
would doubtless have been provided. I should have had 
all I wanted and more besides. Our route to the buffalo 
range would have passed through a country reputed to be 
full of wapiti, deer, and bears. I longed to accept the 
invitation, but lack of time would not allow of it ; and so 
after another ' howing ' and handshaking we parted the 
best friends. 

Before retiring I had some interesting conversation 
with Dr. Wright and the missionary on the subject of 
proselytism. But as any discussion on that vexed ques- 
tion would exceed the scope and limits of this volume, I 
must refrain from enquiring why — among Eed Indians at 
least, the words ' Heathen ' and ' Honest Man,' ' Thief ' 
and ' Christian,' are, all too frequently, convertible terms. 
ISTor will I stop to calculate how much tea and sugar, 
pork and tobacco, sutfice to convert a tribe or individual ; 
or to notice how, in consequence of this peculiarity 
among the natives, Christianity rules high in years of 
scarcity, and has a downward tendency when buffalo are 
plenty. 

However degraded their religion may be, I doubt if 
a change ever is morally beneficial to a savage race. 

Eoman Catholicism suits the Eed men best, with its 
spiritualism in some respects so like their own, its festi- 
vals and fasts at stated times resembling their green-corn 
dances and vigils ; with its prayers and intercessions for the 
dead, its ceremonial, its good and evil spirits, its symbolism, 
its oblations, its little saints and medals. The Eed Indian 
does not see such a great difference between the priest 
and the medicine-man. It is a difference of degree, not 
of kind ; and, if backed by a little pork and flour, ha is apt 



CONTRASTS OF RACE. 109 

to look upon the cross and medal as greater talismans than 
claws of beast and bits of rag and skin, and to think that 
the missionary makes stronger medicine than his priest. 

The dry, cold philosophy of the Methodist finds little 
favour with an imaginative race, worshipping the Great 
Spirit in the elements and in all the forms and forces 
of Nature ; thanking the Principle of Good for success 
in hunting and in war ; propitiating the Evil Principle that 
brings the deep snows and stamps the lakes and rivers 
into solid ice, and carries in its train fever and starvation 
— that broods over them at night with the black shadows 
of its wings — that rides upon the wind, and hurls the 
arrows of its anger at them in the thunderstorm ; asking 
advice of the shades of their ancestors ; and peopling the air 
with ghosts and shadows, and the woods and mountains 
with phantasms good and evil. 

To the Indian's mind there is nothing intrinsically 
good or desirable in the doctrines of the various Chris- 
tian sects ; nor is there anything whatever in our mode 
of living or in our boasted civilisation to prepossess 
him in favour of the religion of the white race. These 
red-skinned savages have no respect whatever for the 
pale-faces — men whose thoughts, feelings, occupations, 
and pastimes are entirely at variance with their own. 
Ahens they are to us in almost all things. Their 
thoughts run in a different channel ; while we pride 
ourselves on our appreciation of logical sequence, they 
suffer themselves to be guided so much more by in- 
stinct than by reasoning. They have a code of morals 
and of honour differing most materially from ours. 
They attach importance to matters so trifling in our 
eyes, are gratified or offended by such insignificant 
details, are guided through life by rules so much at 
variance with our estabhshed methods, that it is im- 
possible for us to foresee what, under particular 



no THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

circumstances, their conduct will be. They are influenced 
by feelings and passions which we do not in the least 
understand, and cannot therefore appreciate. They show 
reverence to superstitions and religious ceremonies, w^hich 
we, knowing nothing whatever about them, declare at once 
to be utterly foolish and absurd; and they attach much 
importance to observances which seem to us almost as 
utterly meaningless and ridiculous as many of the doc- 
trines preached by our missionaries must appear to them. 
White men who have dwelt all their lives with the Indians 
have to confess that they know very little about 
their inner lives, and understand nothing of the hidden 
springs of action, and of the secret motives that impel them 
to conduct themselves in the strange and inexplicable 
manner they sometimes do. A man may live for years 
and years with a tribe, have grown-up children among 
them, be in all things as one of themselves, and even be 
looked up to, liked and appreciated by them ; yet occa- 
sionally a shadow will seem to get between him and his 
adopted brothers ; their hearts feel bad towards him ; his 
wife will tell him that he had better leave the town for 
a few days ; and if he is wise he goes away out of sight, 
and lies quiet for a time. His wife brings him food, till 
after three or four days the cloud has blown over, and he can 
return to his lodge. Nobody would think of looking for him ; 
but if he persisted in remaining in the village, and the men 
happened to meet him during such a period of excitement, 
he would probably fall a victim to his obstinacy. It is 
impossible to account for the strange, unreasonable moods 
which occasionally possess these people. 

Judged by our standard, the Indians are as a rule 
cowards, and we suppose therefore that they must be 
convinced of our superiority in courage. Not a bit of it. 
They look upon our bravery as the height of folly, and 



INDIAN VIEWS AND TACTICS. Ill 

find us lacking entirely in those great qualities they so 
much admire. We cannot endure the tortures of physical 
pain or starve as they can. Their mode of carrying on 
war is quite dissimilar to ours, and they do not appreciate 
that desperate, bull-dog courage that leads a soldier to 
struggle to the bitter end against overpowering odds ; nor 
do they highly esteem a man who is ready at all times 
to sacrifice his life for the cause. On the contrary ; they 
would regard such an one as a fool who had parted with 
a valuable commodity, namely his life, without obtaining 
an adequate return for it. 

Those chiefs are disgraced who bring back the war 
party with diminished ranks. Occasionally they make up 
their minds to a great effort, and expend a number of 
lives to compass the destruction of the enemy, as in the 
case of the Fort Phil Kearney massacre, when the Indians 
lost severely, but killed, if I remember aright, over eighty 
officers and men. Why it should be called a massacre, by 
the way, I don't know. If the Indians had all been 
killed instead of the soldiers, it would have been a battle. 
They are not, I think, very prone to fight, and their great 
object in war is to do as much damage as possible without 
the loss of a single man. 

By hunting they live ; and to keep their hunting-grounds 
intact, to drive off intruders, they must have many young 
men, the more the better, for there is no danger of an 
excess of population in an Indian tribe. It would not do 
to lose warriors in battle with the troops, and then fall an 
easy prey to the other divisions of their own race, always 
waiting for a chance to seize their tribal hunting-grounds 
and to drive them from the best portions of their territory. 
A life is very valuable to them. Hence it is that they 
admire the man who can creep, and watch, and lay out 
for days and nights in bitter cold and snow without food 



112 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

or warmth, and who, by infinite patience, cool courage, 
and a nice calculation of chances, secures a scalp or a lot 
of horses without risk to himself, but who, if he found 
circumstances unfavourable and the odds against him, 
would return without striking a blow. That is the man 
they look up to. So we do not impress them a bit by 
our superior bravery ; they view with indifference the 
reckless courage and devotion upon which we set such 
store, and value very highly those qualities which we 
are inclined to despise. 

They know and acknowledge that we are numerically 
much more powerful than they are. They see that we 
make better weapons, clothes, and ornaments than they 
can ; but dollars or hides will buy our rifles, pistols, 
shirts, beads, and blankets, and they are quite con- 
tented that we should make and that they should use them. 
They consider us very convenient as traders and pro- 
ducers, but attach no importance to our superiority over 
them in these respects. They would as soon think of 
estimating a squaw at a higher figure than a man, 
because she beads and makes his moccasins, and tans the 
robes. 

The whites they come in contact with are not, as a 
rule, the best specimens of the race, and the Indian sees 
that we are lacking in many virtues that rule his actions 
and guide his life. A few of the leading men in various 
tribes are taken to Washington and New York, with a view 
of awing them with the evidences of our overwhelming 
numbers and of our skil and power. They are astonished 
at the numbers of men they see. The agent who accom- 
panied a party, I think it was of Arapahoes, told me that 
one chief took a stick with him to count the warriors of 
the pale faces, cutting a notch in it for every man he 
saw. Poor fellow ! he soon got to the end of his stick. 



PROGRESS OR RETROGRESSION? 113 

and finally went partially crazy, so bewildered was he 
with the vast multitudes of human beings in the Eastern 
towns. 

But in these great cities they see just enough to degrade 
the inhabitants in their eyes. They can learn nothing of 
the blessings and advantages attendant on civilisation. 
How can they appreciate our hospitals, schools, and 
charitable establishments, or our artistic, literary, and 
scientific associations ? What can they know of the thou- 
sand-and-one emanations of our artificial mode of life, 
which make existence pleasant to certain classes among 
us ? They see the worst only — the squalor, the wretched- 
ness, the dirt, the crowding together of the population, and 
they are startled at the discordant life of a great town. As 
to taking any wider or deeper view of our civilisation, 
and looking forward to future benefits which, growing 
out of present miseries, may, when the machine is in better 
working order and runs smoother, gladden the days of 
generations yet to come — that they are incapable of 
doing : the present is sufficient for them. 

Besides, on the whole question as to what civiHsation 
is, the two races are hopelessly at variance. While we 
think we are advancing, they assert that we are going 
back. We hope and trust that we are on the right 
path ; they say that we are hopelessly off the trail. They 
consider our lives altogether wrong, and look upon us 
with contempt, perhaps with a little pity. While fully 
acknowledging the fact of our preponderating strength, 
while seeing plainly before them the extermination of 
their race, and bowing their heads to sad necessity, they 
yet will not admit that we are in any respect their 
equals, man to man. They are the most strong-hearted, 
hard-headed people in this matter, submitting to the 
inevitable, but sturdily maintaining their self-respect. 



114 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

As to our railways, our waggons and carriages, our 
bridges, roads, houses, villages, towns, and cities, they 
are all utterly abhorrent to the Indian. He cannot 
understand what satisfaction we can find in the pursuit 
of business or in the pleasures that form the sum and 
substance of our lives. He cannot realise the state of 
society in which we exist, our thoughts and actions, our 
eating and drinking, our sleeping and waking, our occu- 
pations and our pastimes ; in fact, our whole scheme of 
life is so repulsive to him that he looks with surprise and 
contempt upon a race that finds existence bearable 
under such circumstances. 

Even when poor, cold, half-starved, he would not 
change places with any white man. With enough to eat, 
tobacco to smoke, horses, guns, and hides to trade for 
beads and finery, he is the happiest man on earth, for he 
is thoroughly contented with his lot. He is free, and he 
knows it. We are slaves, bound by chains of our own 
forging, and he sees that it is so. Could he but fathom 
the depths of a great city, and gauge the pettiness, the 
paltry selfishness of the inhabitants, and see the deceit, 
the humbug, the lying, the outward swagger, and the 
inward cringing, the toadyism, and the simulated inde- 
pendence ; could he but see Mrs. Grundy enthroned in 
all her weighty majesty, paralysing with her conven- 
tionalities all originality in the brains of her subjects ; 
could he but view the lives that might have been 
honourably passed, spent instead in struggling for and 
clutching after gold, and see the steps by which many a 
respected man has climbed to fortune, wet with the tears 
of ruined men and women ; could he appreciate the 
meanness of those who consider no sacrifice of self- 
respect too great, provided it helps them to the end and 
object of their lives, and pushes them a little higher. 



CIVILISATION'S TRIUMPHS. 115 

as they are pleased to call it, in society ; could he but 
glance at the millions of existences spent in almost 
chronic wretchedness, lives that it makes one shudder to 
think of, years spent in close alleys and back slums, up 
dismal rotting courts, without a ray of sun to cheer 
them, without a mouthful of sweet fresh air to breathe, 
without a flower or even a blade of grass, or any token, 
however humble, to show that there is somewhere a 
beautiful Nature — without one vestige of anything to 
make life graceful, but closed in for ever with sur- 
roundings sordid, dismal, and debasing ; — if he could 
take a broader view of the land, and note how we have 
blackened and disfigured the face of Nature, and how 
we have polluted our streams and fountains, so that we 
drink sewage instead of water ; — could he but see that our 
rivers are turned to drains, and flow reeking with filth, 
and guess how by our manufactures we have poisoned our 
rivers, destroyed our fish, and so impregnated the very 
air we breathe that grass will not grow exposed to the 
unhealthy atmosphere ; — could he but take all this in, 
and be told that such is the outcome of our civilisation, 
he would strike his open palm upon his naked chest, and 
thank God that he was a savage, uneducated and un- 
tutored, but with air to breathe, and water to drink ; 
ignorant but independent, a wild but a free man. 

Nor is this feeling of contempt for white men confined 
to the pure-blooded Indian. I have never seen a half- 
breed that did not cleave to the savage and despise the 
civilised race. Many children of mixed marriages cannot 
speak a word of English ; and the half-breed, whether 
Scotch, American, or French, invariably prefers the society 
of his relations on the mother's side. Many of them, too, 
have had ample opportunities of understanding all the 
benefits of our system. But the one sentiment is almost 



116 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

universal. They will admit that the benefits which our 
advanced state of society has poured upon the human 
race are numerous and great. They will allow that there 
is much to be admired in the order of our lives; but, 
all the same, give them the forest and the prairie, the 
mountain and the vale. Let the rushing of great rivers, 
the wailing of the wind be their music ; let their homes 
be the birch wigwam or skin tent ; let trees, and stones, 
and flowers, and birds, and the forests and the wild 
beasts therein, be the books for them to read. The two 
lives are different utterly ; both are good they will say, 
but the wild life is the best. 

So it is diflScult for missionaries to make much head 
against the pride and prejudice, the instincts and feelings, 
of a race they scarcely understand. 

However, Dr. Wright was very sanguine, and I 
sincerely hope that good success may crown his efforts. 
Christianity may do something towards granting an 
euthanasia to a fast-vanishing, much-enduring, and 
hardly-entreated people. Let us hope that it will. 

I should much have liked to stay a few days at the 
Mission, and to have devoted a little time to a more care- 
ful study of the Crow tribe of Indians. I have always 
felt a keen interest in the Eed men ; for though there is 
much to disgust us in their practices, pursuits, and 
manners, and though their ideas and customs are in most 
cases repugnant to us, yet a great deal that is instructive 
is also to be found among them, and valuable lessons may 
be learned from a people who, though far beneath us in 
many respects, are in some things our superiors. Many 
qualities, almost lacking in us, they have cultivated and 
brought to great perfection. 

I am by no means an enthusiast on the Eed Indian 
question. A practical though slight acquaintance with 



THE RED MAN. 117 

many tribes has sufficed to dispel the illusions and 
youthful fancies that a severe course of study of Fenimore 
Cooper's works, of ' Hiawatha,' and books of that descrip- 
tion engendered in my mind. Under the strong light 
of personal observation of their filthiness, of their de- 
basing habits and ideas, the halo of romance that at one 
period of my life enveloped them has faded considerably, 
though it has not entirely disappeared. I have, not un- 
naturally, acquired a feeling of general hostility towards 
them ; for on hunting expeditions they have bothered me 
much and have interfered considerably with my pleasure 
and comfort, as I am not one of those individuals who 
revel, or pretend to revel, in actual danger, and who 
delight, or say they dehght, in anticipations of a row. 
I know too well what a nuisance they become, how incon- 
venient is their fondness for horseflesh, and their unpleasant 
custom of following out the Mosaic law of ' an eye for 
an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' If they confined their 
attentions to fulfilling the latter part only of the maxim 
I should not so much care, for dentistry is practised to 
perfection in the States, and a whole set of teeth could 
be purchased tolerably cheap, and warranted capable of 
cutting through even a boarding-house beefsteak. But, 
unfortunately, it is a scalp for a scalp and a hfe for a life 
with them, and they don't care a bit what fellow's scalp 
or whose life they take in satisfaction for the loss of one 
of their tribe. So I am not disposed to be over-fond 
of Indians, or to gloss over their faults and magnify 
their virtues. But still I am fond of them ; I respect 
their instinct, I admire their intense love of freedom ; 
and, while admitting that Cooper's heroes are somewhat 
imaginary, I must confess that the ' noble Eed man ' is 
not altogether such a mythical being as one school of 
writers would have us believe. He has some noble and 

K 



118 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

excellent traits of character, and it must not be forgotten 
that, although in common with all semi-civilised or totally 
savage people certain of his natural actions and thoughts 
are shocking to our ideas of decency and morality, yet 
the chief causes that render him obnoxious to us are to 
be traced directly to the contaminating iDfluence of 
white men. 

Indians, though sometimes mean and treacherous, yet 
often exhibit a grand simplicity and nobleness of charac- 
ter of which we should be envious. As a rule, they 
exercise great self-control, though now and then they 
break out in wild orgies and excesses of all kinds ; 
and, if they are frequently unsavoury, they are always 
picturesque. 

Their misfortunes too, and the mere fact of their 
being a doomed and a disappearing race, enlist one's 
sympathies in their favour. 

Had I been able to remain at the Mission, I could not 
have hoped and should not have attempted to do more 
than gratify my own curiosity ; but it is a great pity that 
some one sufficiently well- versed in ethnological subjects 
to know what inquiries to make, and in which direction 
to push his researches, does not devote a little time to 
the North American Indians ; for although late in the 
day, yet many scraps of valuable information might still 
be gleaned from that field before the sun for ever sets 
upon it. Though Indian bibliography is extremely 
voluminous, it does not, as far as I know, contain any 
work treating seriously and sensibly of their religious 
observances, their medicine-men, their ceremonies, their 
fasts, feasts, and festivals. It is true that the golden 
opportunity for collecting materials has been lost, and 
can never return ; but still something might yet be done. 
When white men first commenced to mingle much 



A SCIENTIFIC JVANT. 119 

among the aborigines, and indeed among the Western 
tribes, until about twenty or thirty years ago, they were 
ahuost invariably treated with kindness and courtesy. 
Confidence was placed in them ; they were admitted to 
the solemn dances and religious ceremonies, and heard 
the legends and traditions of this strange race ; and with- 
out doubt a great mass of matter extremely interesting 
to the student might have been gathered together. 
Unfortunately, most of the travellers and traders who 
visited the wild tribes in those days were too much 
occupied with their own business to bestow time or 
labour upon the affairs of others. A great many of the 
white men who were intimate with the natives in former 
days, or who now dwell among them, were and still are 
incapable, through lack of knowledge, of acquiring any 
useful information. Some are mere worthless outcasts of 
society, and those who by nature and education were 
fitted for the task seem to have considered tlie absurdities 
of the native priests as beneath the notice of Christians, 
and to have taken for granted that the ceremonial of their 
solemn occasions was a tissue of mere meaningless mum- 
meries and impudent charlatanism, and as such unworthy 
of investigation. They may be quite right ; but they have 
always argued on an assumption, and have never taken 
the trouble to prove or even to examine into the truth of 
their premises. A subject so important as the religion of 
a people, whose social and religious lives are interwoven 
so closely as to be indistinguishable one from the other, 
should not be approached in such a frame of mind. 
Neither ought the most trivial forms, the most grotesque 
and senseless ceremonies, to be dismissed as unworthy 
of attention ; for, if carefully sifted and laboriously 
analysed, there is no doubt that the mass of absurdit}?- 
would yield some little grain of knowledge for which 

K 2 



120 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

a place is waiting somewhere in the scientific fabric of 
the world. 

Now, unluckily, most of the savage tribes have learned 
to so utterly distrust all white men that they will not 
communicate to them anything that they esteem sacred or 
worthy of respect. Years of ill-treatment have done their 
work, and have turned the native, formerly friendly and 
confiding, into a hostile and suspicious foe. He cannot 
believe in a pale-face having any disinterested motives 
for visiting or questioning him ; he continually fears lest 
some mean advantage should be taken of his trust ; he 
jealously hides from a contemptuous eye the mysteries 
which to him are very dear and sacred ; and he re- 
fuses his confidence to a people who have so frequently 
abused it, and upon whom he looks with aversion and 
contempt. ' 

A problem in many respects are the Eed Indians to 
this day, and a problem they are likely to remain to the 
end ; and, when, they have passed for ever from this earth, 
ethnologists will puzzle themselves vainly over a great mass 
of literature describing accurately enough their surface fife, 
but not searching sufiiciently deep among the hidden 
springs of action to afford rehable data upon which to 
found a theory of the origin, history, and position, among 
creatures, of an extinct race of men. 

No better specimens of the aboriginal stock than the 
Mountain and Eiver Crows can now be found. They 
are, I beheve, fast diminishing in numbers, as are all the 
other tribes; and although the Eed Indians are still 
numerous in the States and will not be extinguished for 
many years to come, yet they are rapidly deteriorating, 
and any one who wishes to form a just estimate of their 
character and of the value of their career in the world 
has but Httle time to lose. There is good evidence that 



CANADA. 121 

when tlie States were lirst settled the native race was 
already in its decadence, and since that time its degradation 
has been terribly quick. Too close a contact with 
civilisation is hurrying them down hill with ever increas- 
ing rapidity. As may naturally be supposed, the tribes 
dwelling remote from our mahgnant influence are morally 
and physically the best, and are the most worthy of observa- 
tion. But when you get very far to the north, climatic 
influences begin to tell ; a too rigorous winter, intense 
cold, and insufficiency of food operate injuriously, and 
preclude the inhabitants from attaining to any great 
degree of excellence in body or mind. Hence it is that 
at the present day those Septs are probably the finest 
representatives of the race who range about the north- 
western limits of the United States and the southern 
portions of that vast district in British possessions com- 
monly known as the North -West Territory or the Great 
North-West, far away from the centres of our civilisa- 
tion, yet inhabiting a country well adapted to support a 
scanty population living by the chase ; a country endowed 
with a climate severe but not at all unfavourable to human 
life. 

The tribes exclusively inhabiting the United States 
have suffered more than their brethren who partially 
or altogether live in British possessions, for they have 
come more into collision with the superior race. 

We northern folks in Canada have been very fortunate, 
and have had little difficulty with our Indians as yet ; 
while the United States, on the contrary, have been in 
constant trouble with the aboriginal inhabitants of their 
territories and States. The international boundary line is 
not respected ; its existence probably is not known or 
acknowledged by the north-western tribes, many of whom 
roam across it at pleasure, and pass their time sometimes 



122 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

in one country, sometimes in another. The owner- 
ship of the soil is, in their opinion, vested in them alone. 
Their hunting-grounds are not limited by the 49th 
parallel, and they attach to the territorial arrangements of 
Great Britain and the United States about the same 
amount of importance that the parochial or diocesan 
authorities in this country would consider it necessary 
to bestow upon the boundaries of the Eoman Catholic 
parishes and bishoprics throughout it. This year their 
principal village may be south of the line ; next season, 
scarcity of game, lack of grass, insufficiency of water or 
wood, an extensive prairie fire, or some similar cause, may 
induce them to move it far to the north. Generally they 
deal with the Hudson's Bay Company ; sometimes with 
American traders on the Missouri. While possessing, 
therefore, but very hazy and indistinct notions of the line 
of demarcation between the two peoples, they have 
acquired at the same time strong general opinions as to 
the characteristics of the two white races that dwell, the 
one to the north and the other to the south of the line, 
and they entertain towards them very widely differing 
feelings. 

The same tribes may, speaking generally, be described 
as being friendly on the north side and hostile on the 
south side of the boundarj^ The white servants of the 
Hudson's Bay Company, or their half-bred employes, 
whether of French or Scotch extraction, wander se- 
curely among Sioux, Black Feet, Crees, and Assiniboins, 
who would rarely lose a chance of attacking an American 
party. 

At Fort Garry is a document signed by certain 
chiefs, in which they intimate the assurances of their 
friendship for the Canadians. In it they say that they 
can generally tell by various signs the difference 



LOWER CANADA INDIANS. 123 

between British subjects and citizens of the United 
States ; but to avoid all accidents it would be well for 
British subjects to hoist the national flag when near the 
boundary line. 

It would be tedious to go into the subject of the mis- 
takes and mismanagement by which the Uuited States have 
made themselves so obnoxious. There is no doubt that 
to their faults of administration, and to the much fairer 
system of government adopted and carried out by the 
Hudson's Bay Company, is attributable, to a great extent, 
the difference of sentiment entertained toward the two 
countries by the Eed man. Other and unavoidable causes, 
however, have aided to bring about this result, and we 
should be very wrong to attach too much blame to the 
United States, or to congratulate ourselves too freely upon 
the success that has hitherto attended our administrative 
efforts. We have as yet scarcely come in contact with 
the wild prairie tribes at all ; but the States are in con- 
stant collision with them, and have been for j^ears driving 
them out of the way of their settlers and miners, and 
shifting them about to suit the requirements of the 
prodigiously rapid growth of their country. 

The Indians of Lower Canada, such as the Hurons, 
Abenakies, Mic-Macs, and the Iroquois of Caughnawaga, — 
sole remnant, these last, of the once formidable, ferocious, 
and dreaded league of the Seven Nations — a combination 
of tribes that at one time held almost at their mercy the 
settlements of the Canadas and New York ; whose man- 
dates issuing from their great council-house in Onandaga 
were looked for with apprehension by the Dutch and 
English ; whose warriors when only partially united with 
certain of the northern tribes under Pontiac, himself a 
chief of the Ottawas, an offshoot of the Algonquin race, 
captured, with one exception, the whole chain of British 



124 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

forts which protected the commerce of the great lakes 
and the highways from them to the Mississippi and the 
West, and defeated in regular engagements several bodies 
of troops ; these sauvages, as the French habitants call 
them — Indians, as they are designated by the English — are 
in truth Indians and savages only in name. They have 
intermarried for so many generations with white men and 
women, that only in occasional instances do they betray 
their native origin even in their physiognomies. 

The Montaineux and others further down towards the 
Labrador and in the unsettled interior of Quebec are a 
quiet, peaceable, half-starved people. But to the west 
and north-west we come upon quite another class of 
tribes. Scattered in small parties, fishing and hunting 
cariboo on the shores of Lake Superior ; dwelling in 
villages and large camps across the ' height of land ' 
about Eainy Lake, Lake of the Woods, and Lac des Milles 
Lacs ; on both banks of Eainy Eiver, on the shores of the 
Winnipeg, on the plains about the Eed Eiver Settle- 
ments, will be found the Saulteaux, Chippeways or 
Ojibways of the lakes, as they are variously called, a very 
fine race, brave, and well-disposed to the whites. West- 
ward of Eed Eiver, on the great plains, in the valleys 
of the north and south forks of the Saskatchewan and 
the Assiniboine, and their tributaries, along the upper 
portion of Milk Eiver, in the sheltered parks among the 
foot-hills and spurs of the mountains, roam all the divisions 
of the Black Feet — such as the Black Feet proper. Bloods, 
and Piegans ; together with Crees, Assiniboins, and a few 
Sioux, Avho took refuge across the line after the great 
massacre of settlers in Minnesota. These tribes are com- 
posed of bold, bumptious, buffalo-eating men. They feed 
almost entirely on meat, and are strong, brave, audacious, 
and untamed ; but up to the present friendly to us. 



THE NEGLECT OF BRITISH NORTH AMERICA. 125 

Hitherto they have been scarcely interfered with ; their 
lands have not been wanted for settlement; their hunting- 
grounds have not been turned into pasturage for sheep 
and cattle. On the contrary, their natural tastes, their 
love of hunting, their skill in trapping — an art which, by 
the way, they have learned entirely from the whites — 
have been fostered and developed to the utmost by the 
Hudson's Bay Company. 

It was to the advantage of this great organisation to 
keep the country in its primitive state, to discourage immi- 
gration and settlement, to maintain the Indians in their 
normal condition as hunters and trappers, to keep the 
lands as a great preserve of fur-bearing animals, and as a 
breeding-ground for the herds of buffalo, upon the flesh 
of which lived their trappers and hunters, their boat- 
men, clerks and traders ; and it was a very long time 
before the secret of the rich tillage-lands and valuable 
pasturage of the North-West oozed out and became 
generally known. Very little attention has been paid by 
the English public to this, one of the richest portions of 
its domains. The popular mind indeed entertains the 
vaguest and most inadequate ideas respecting the whole 
territory. British North America is looked upon by many 
as a sort of frozen, barren waste, whence beaver-skins 
and bear-skins come ; and even now I daresay there 
are few people in this country who have ever noticed 
or commented upon the extraordinary curve north- 
ward which the isothermal line makes about the centre 
of the continent. The freezing influence of those in- 
ternal seas. Lake Superior and the other ' great lakes,' of 
those vast bodies of fresh water scarcely inferior to them 
in size, namely, Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba, and of 
James's Bay, the most southern portion of Hudson's Bay, 
an arm of the ocean penetrating with its burden of 



126 THE GREAT DIVIDE, 

winter ice far into the continent, togetlier with the in- 
numerable lesser sheets of water that constitute so large a 
portion of Prince Eupert's Land, makes itself very widely 
felt. But, as soon as you have passed beyond, that is to 
say to the westward of that influence, you emerge from a 
country distinguished by a sub-arctic flora of moss, lichens, 
and stunted pines into a region of luxuriant grasses, warm 
breezes, and hard- wood trees. And the climate improves 
as you near the mountains, being affected by those great 
heat-radiating masses, and tempered also by the soft winds 
from the Pacific Ocean. 

Highly favoured indeed by J^ature has the North- West 
been. Speaking in general terms, it is safe to say that 
from the Eio Grande to the international boundary line 
is spread, over the central portions of the continent, an 
almost arid plain. There are exceptions, of course, 
but the usual character of the country is that of a desert 
— a desert susceptible of cultivation only by con- 
stant irrigation. But no sooner have you struck the 
tributaries of the South Saskatchewan than you enter 
upon a region of rich deep alluvial soil abundantly 
watered, which spreads away on all sides for thousands 
of square miles. This region is now thrown open to 
the world, and from it have for ever departed the days 
of exclusive hunting and trapping. At some time or 
other, near or distant, all that fertile soil will be tilled 
and grazed, and where wild tribes now wander, settlers 
will plough and sow, make hay and reap. 

When the country begins to be ' settled up,' then our 
moment of difficulty with the natives will also arrive. In 
fact it has arrived, for already treaties have been made 
and lands acquired. And not long ago I lieard that the 
prairie tribes had remonstrated against the existence of 



A CHOW PRAYER. 127' 

the mounted police force organised in Manitoba. They 
could not understand the objects of this force, and looked 
upon it with considerable suspicion. 

Is it possible so to manipulate the process of extin- 
guishing a race of men that they may neither suffer in 
themselves nor cause annoyance to the operator? Some 
mutual pain and inconvenience are unavoidable, but with 
care we might perhaps succeed, in this case at least, for 
there are exceptional agencies working in our favour. 
The colder and more rigorous the climate the better and 
more valuable is the fur of the animals inhabiting it, and 
to the north of the districts capable of colonisation lie 
immense tracts of barren, miserable land, inhospitable in 
the extreme, but still capable of supporting a scanty 
population of trappers. Thus there is a sort of natural 
outlet for the native population which will not be driven 
out suddenly, for the settlement of the North- West will 
be gradual and slow. 

But it behoves us to be exceedingly careful and 
cautious in our future dealings with our Indians. The 
department having charge of them should be thoroughly 
conversant with their modes of life, thoughts and habits ; 
accurately informed as to their numbers, necessities, and 
the geographical disposition of the various bands ; and 
' posted ' in all matters connected with their hunting- 
grounds, both those which they hold in common with 
other tribes and those that they consider exclusively 
their own. Great attention, too, should be paid to their 
customs, their vanity, their superstitions, their laws, and 
estimates of right and wrong. Their moral code is en- 
tirely different to ours. As exemplifying this, I am 
tempted to quote a prayer which I chanced to read the 
other day. It is thoroughly characteristic of the race 



128 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

in general, and gives one an insight into the feelings and 
longings that stir their savage minds. It is a prayer to 
the Great Spirit by a Crow Indian : — 
' I am poor ; that is bad. 

' Make me a chief; give me plenty of horses ; give 
me fine clothing. I ask for good spotted horses. 

' Give me a large tent ; give me a great many horses ; 
let me steal fine horses ; grant it to me. 

' Give me guns by cheating ; give me a beautiful 
woman ; bring the buffalo close by. 

' No deep snow ; a little snow is good. 
' Give me Black Feet to kill or to die ; close by, all 
together. 

' Stop the people from dying, it is good. 
' Give instruments for amusements ; blankets too, and 
fine meats to eat. 

' Give the people altogether plenty of fine buffalo, and 
plenty to eat.' 

Due allowance for views of morality differing so 
radically from those we claim to be guided by must be 
made in dealing with these people. 

In the United States we have an example before us 
well worthy of our study. To put the matter very 
practically, it is worth while to find out why the appro- 
priations for the Indian Bureau at Washington attain 
such formidable proportions, and why the Indians in the 
States cost infinitely more per head than our Canada 
Indians do. The principal cause is the fact I have first 
mentioned — namely, that the States have acquired much 
more land from the Indian tribes than we have ; but there 
are other very important reasons also. 

There are three great principles that should guide one 
in dealing with Eed Indians. First of all, make it a 



THE PROPER POLICY. 129 

criminal offence to sell whisky to them, and take the 
utmost pains to see that no infringement of this law goes 
unpunished, and that it is not evaded by whites or half- 
breeds buying for themselves and handing it over to 
them. The small private traders will always try to con- 
vey spirits to them by fair or foul means, for a glass 
of whisky will make an Indian drunk, and a drunken 
Indian will sell his peltry at any price to anybody who 
will make him a little more drunken, forgetting his 
obligations to the legitimate traders who have advanced 
him goods and fitted him out. 

Secondly. Treat them with great consideration and 
respect, hear all their grievances, and listen to what they 
have to say about their lands. Show a sufficient amount 
of strength and force to awe them ; but, at the same time, 
conciliate them by numerous presents. It costs but little 
to please them immensely. Give them a fair price for 
their lands. I do not mean a fair price according to the 
agricultural value of the soil, but make as just an estimate 
as possible of the actual loss to them in respect of hunt- 
ing, trapping, and deprivation of liberty ; and give them 
an equivalent in annuity goods. See that every jot and 
tittle of the treaty is properly carried out on both sides ; 
and be sure that the goods delivered to them are of 
the best quality and represent the full value. Consult 
their tastes, too. If they like blankets with certain com- 
binations of stripes, let them have that pattern. If they 
are passionately fond of blue beads, give them beads of 
that colour. Eemember that they are but children. 
Never try to take them in, or overreach them, for though 
children in many respects, they are by no means fools, 
and will find you out to a certainty. Do not attempt 
to force them upon a reservation, but let them wander 



130 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

at will, with full rights of hunting, fishing, and trap- 
ping, even over the ceded lands ; provided of course that 
they do no harm, do not trespass upon cultivated por- 
tions, don't frighten or stampede sheep or cattle, or in 
any way annoy the settlers. They will do scarcely any 
damage by trespassing, and they will get accustomed to 
the settlers, and the settlers to them. 

Thirdly. If depredations are committed, if an Indian 
steals anything, or wounds or murders anybody, pursue 
the individual who has done the wrong — whatever it may 
cost in time, labour, or money — pursue him relentlessly, 
bring him to justice, try him, and punish him with seve- 
rity. Mete out equal justice to white men and red-skins. 
Let it not be murder for an Indian to kill an Englishman, 
and justifiable homicide for the settler to slay the savage. 
Above all, never make reprisals upon the tribe or family. 
Get the man or men implicated, and try them ; run them 
to ground wherever they may be ; even if they fly 
hundreds of miles to the fastnesses of the mountains, let 
them feel that the arm of the law is long enough to reach 
them — strong enough to pluck them from their hiding- 
place, and bring them, if necessary, to the gallows. Never 
allow a blood feud to originate between the settlers and 
the Indians. If a white man kill an innocent Indian in 
revenge for some relative or friend slain by a native, try 
that white man, and, if convicted, punish him as you 
would a savage for the same offence. Abandon at 
once the old idea of blood for blood — the scalp of any 
white man in atonement for the life of any Indian ; the 
blood of any Indian in expiation of the murder of any 
settler. The old men and chiefs, who are nearly always 
for peace and quiet, will help you and bear you out, and 
the savages will gradually become amenable to the law. 



THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY. 131 

The two races, not being deterred by mutual dread of 
each other, will freely mix together, and the weaker 
will in time be absorbed and assimilated by the 
stronger, as has been the case in the Lower Provinces of 
Canada. 

There exists, ready-made to our hand, a corporation 
capable, if anything is, of successfully carrying through 
this difficult work, and without violence depriving the 
rightful owners of their possession in the land. The or- 
ganisation of the Hudson's Bay Company is very complete. 
Its ramifications extend throughout the whole country, 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Saskatchewan 
to the Arctic Sea. It has been uniformly successful in 
its dealings with the natives. Its members thoroughly 
understand the pecuharities of an Indian's character and 
all the subtle complexities of his brain ; and the tribes 
look up to them with respect and afiection. 

If this institution be turned to our advantage, its 
services made use of, its officers consulted and the advice 
of its members adopted, then we shall have but little 
trouble and be put to small expense in the North. But if, 
when in future years settlers pour in in numbers, and in 
consequence business relations with the natives become 
complex and voluminous, we allow ourselves to fall into 
the same error which so much troubles our cousins in 
the United States, and keep up, as a political engine, a 
great and expensive Indian Department, employing 
numerous agents and other officers, and affording nice 
little titbits of fat patronage, why then, in that case, 
there is likely to be a plentiful expenditure of blood and 
money. 

Above all things, it is to be hoped that we shall 
avoid the absurdity involved in a continual change of 



132 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

policy. The disadvantages of such a course are manifest 
in the States, where at one time the natives are under 
military control, and at another are, without warning, 
turned over to the tender mercies of Quakers and men of 
peace. Had the Indian Bureau been worked entirely and 
continuously by the soldiers, it would have been far better 
for both whites and Indians. 




A PAPOOSE. 



133 



CHAPTEE lY. 



STILL ON OUR WAY. 



Though we had determined over-night to leave early 
in the morning, so as to have plenty of time to reach 
Boteler's Eanch before dark, and though we were ready 
at the appointed time after bidding farewell to hospitable 
Dr. Wright, yet it was late before we did get away. A 
' squaw man ' was coming part of the way with us, and 
he, as is the custom with those semi-Indians, fiddled 
about the store for ever so long, and then had to go to 
camp to say good-bye to his wife ; and then his sister-in- 
law wanted a lift on the road, and jumped up behind him 
on the pony ; and then a brother-in-law rode after him, 
and insisted upon having his rifle in case the Sioux should 
attempt to run off any of the horses during his absence ; 
and then we passed the outlying picket of civihsation, 
a dissipated-looking whisky shop, and we must needs take 
a drink with him ; so that the sun was pretty high when 
we at last turned our horses' heads south and started off 
at a swinging gallop across the dusty plain. 

The ' squaw man ' was a very jolly fellow, and en- 
livened the journey, when our pace permitted it and we 
were forced to walk through canons or over rocky 
grounds, with endless anecdotes and highly-flavoured jokes, 
not very easy to digest. Like most of his kind, he was 
hght-hearted and happy, and galloped along across the 
level, swinging his whip, his felt hat on the back of his 

L 



134 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

head, his long hair flapping on his shoulders, whooping, 
yelling, and singing at the top of his voice, out of 
sheer exuberance of animal spirits. These ebullitions, 
which were very cheering both to us and our horses, 
were not indulged in during the early part of the 
journey. On the contrary, we proceeded cautiously, 
and kept a bright look-out on either side until we 
were well through the first canon. A predatory band 
of Sioux from the plains had not long before run 
off with some cattle and horses from close to the 
walls of Fort Ellis, and had killed two men near the 
Mission. The Crows reported that their young men, lying 
out in the passes watching, had detected a large war 
party of the same tribe coming up from the eastward. 
The Crow scouts had lost touch of them some how, and 
nobody seemed to know whether they had retreated on 
finding the Crows encamped in force about the Agency, 
or whether they had dispersed and scattered themselves 
among the mountains. It was the choke-cherry season ; 
numbers of the Crow Indians were wandering about 
gathering fruit, and it would have been difficult for any 
hostile band to approach the Agency undiscovered, a fact 
which was very reassuring ; but still there was a feeling 
of uneasiness in the air. Dr. Wright told us to be very 
careful, and, until the first gorge in the range had been 
placed between us and our possible enemies, we kept our 
' eyes skinned ' and all our senses on the alert. 

The tribes of the Dakotah, horsemen by nature, men 
bred upon the plains, are out of their element entirely in 
the woods or among the hills. On the broad prairies is 
their home, and they rarely venture far from those con- 
genial wastes. They hang about the passes and make a 
dash occasionally into the Gallatin Valley, but have never, 
I believe, been known to extend their forays down the 



GEOLOGICAL INFORMATION. 135 

valley of the Yellowstone. The ranges on either side of 
the river would prove impassable to their ponies ; the 
entrance could be easily blocked up by a few men, and 
into such a trap the Sioux warriors are much too ex- 
perienced to enter. 

The trail has a course nearly due south, following 
the direction of the river. At a few miles from the Mission 
it enters the lower canon, and, passing through it, emerges 
into a fine plain of about thirty miles in length and eight 
or ten in breadth. Near the head of this valley is 
Boteler's Eanch. 

The lower canon is a channel, three miles in length, cut 
by the river through a solid limestone ridge at right 
angles to the line of upheaval. 

The second canon, which forms the upper or southern 
boundary of the valley, has been worn out of metamorphic 
rocks. On the east side of it rises a huge granite dome- 
shaped mountain for 2,500 feet above the river, and the 
other side is formed by two or three round naked granitic 
masses of about 1,500 feet in height. Between these two 
gorges lies a valley which has been at one time a lake 
basin. This theory holds good of all the valleys that 
exist between the various carions on the river, which 
must therefore, before it carved out these deep channels 
and freed the imprisoned waters, have formed a chain of 
lakes. The surface is composed entirely of lacustrine 
deposit, over which a covering of basalt has been formed. 
This lava cap has been removed by erosion and denuda- 
tion from all but a few localities, and the vestiges now 
remaining are comparatively insignificant ; but originally 
it must have overflowed a very large tract of country, for 
it is found in detached masses all over this district, and in 
the Snake Eiver Valley it occupies in fragments an area 
of some hundred miles in length by sixty in breadth. That 

L 2 



136 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

the action which produced the outpourings of basalt was 
not confined to one epoch only is evident, for there are 
several distinct and clearly-defined layers of lava ; and 
between the different layers, beds of clay, gravel, or sand 
of various thickness are found, showing that the basalt was 
ejected by several distinct eruptions and at irregular inter- 
vals of time. The plain is for some distance on either side 
of the river perfectly level, and then rises with a gentle 
slope and rests upon the mountains. This slope has been 
moulded by the action of wind and weather, and by the 
mountain streams cutting their way through it into a range 
of low rounded foot-hills. The whole is clothed with a 
thick garment of succulent grass, affording admirable 
pasture for stock. The land is besides capable of producing 
heavy crops of wheat and all other grain. The ripening of 
maize is the crucial test in this country, and at the house 
of my squaw-man friend we dined sumptuously on very 
fair green corn. As to potatoes, in no country can they 
be more successfully grown. 

The mountain chain to our left as we rode, that 
is, on the right or east bank of the river, is very fine. 
Symmetrical and grand, it rears its huge bulk above the 
grassy slopes of the foot-hills, a dark-blue mass gashed and 
seamed with black canons and torrent-beds, rents of 
2,000 or 3,000 feet in depth, gloomy, black with timber, 
and extending far into the heart of the range, opening 
up vistas of most forbidding but gamey-looking country. 
The peaks are chiefly composed of limestone, or of very 
hard close-textured granite — rocks which have so well 
resisted the weathering of ages that their angles and 
edges stand out singularly clear and sharp, giving a hard, 
cruel look to the mountains, whose summits are entirely 
bare of vegetation, and are too steep to allow of the 
lodgment of much snow or of fallen rocks and debris 



EMIGRANT PEAK. ]37 

These mountains extend down to the Big Horn, and give 
birth to many important tributaries of the Yellowstone, 
such as Big Boulder, Eosebud, Clarke's and Pryor's Forks. 
On the other side of the Yellowstone Eiver the range is 
principally composed of stratified volcanic conglomerates 
and breccia. This deposit is of enormous thickness. 
These mountains are not so high, bold, or impressive as 
the opposing chain, but they are very extraordinary and 
worthy of examination, for the softer material of which 
they are formed has weathered into the most grotesque, 
fantastic shapes, forming castles, peaks, pinnacles, and 
buttresses, of infinite variety and strange form. 

That ice has played an important part in the formation 
of these valleys is shown by the deposit of marl and 
coarse gravel, by the heaps of small rounded stones — - 
evidences of old moraines — by the smoothly polished sur- 
faces of the basalt in certain places, and by the huge 
boulders of foreign material which are found stranded on 
the foot-hills and plains. 

On the whole, the scenery between the first, or lower, 
and the second canon, is decidedly fine. The most 
remarkable feature in it is Emigrant Peak, a fine vol- 
canic cone rising 10,629 feet above sea-level and 4,704 
feet above the waters of the river which wash its 
base. It forms one of the portals of Emigrant Gulch, 
a deep narrow gorge eight miles in length, cut by a 
torrent through the gneiss and quartzite rocks. In the 
mouth of the gorge there formerly existed a settlement 
containing some 200 or 300 inhabitants, who were en- 
gaged on the placer workings in the gulch and on its 
confluent streams. About ,§^100,000 to ig'150,000 worth 
of dust was washed out, and a Company was formed to 
work the lodes said to exist at the head of the ravine. A 
great deal of money was spent in sinking on the bed 



138 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

rock, but no ore was found ricli enough to pay for 
excavation ; and nothing but a few chimneys now remains 
of Yellowstone City. 

Teetotalism may be a very fine thing for certain 
persons and under certain very peculiar circumstances, 
but occasionally the desire to indulge in the cup that 
cheers and does inebriate may prove one's salvation. In 
the present instance it was of great service to us, for if 
Kingsley and I had been total abstainers we should have 
lost the whole military chest, and been obliged to put 
back to Bozeman, and procure fresh funds to carry on 
the campaign. It happened in this way. Towards 
evening we got somewhat tired. A little rill chattering 
and laughing down the hill-side looked so provokingly 
cool, so invitingly clear, that we could not resist the 
temptation to take just a ' wee drappie,' and sponta- 
neously and simultaneously pulling up we invited 
each other to drink. Kingsley, who kept the flask, dis- 
mounted, and, kneeling down to blend in just proportions 
the two fluids, felt in the pocket where the flask ought 
to have been. A shade of anxiety passed across his 
countenance as he withdrew his hand empty, succeeded 
by an expression of blank despair, as, after rapidly trying 
the remaining pocket of his jacket and other garments, 
he made the awful discovery that through a hole in his 
pocket not only had the flask disappeared, but the note- 
book also which contained all our available funds. 
There was nothing for it but to make the most of the 
little daylight remaining and turn round and examine 
the trail. We did so, and four or fiwe miles back were 
fortunate enough to find the money all correct, and half 
a mile beyond we discovered the flask also. If it had not 
been for our whisky-drinking prochvities the pocket-book 
would not have been missed until night, perhaps not till 



BOTELEKS RANCH. 139 

morning. By the time we could have returned to the spot 
many honest citizens might have passed, and our dollars 
might have gone ' where the woodbine twineth.' We then 
and there poured out a libation, and determined never to 
join any Temperance society, except that excellent one 
recently started in San Francisco, where it is ruled 
that ' nothing stronger than wine, beer, or cider shall 
be drunk on the premises, unless any member be suffering 
under a sense of discouragement, in which case whisky 
is allowed.' 

While we were recovering our treasure and fortifying 
ourselves with the consoling cup, evening was drawing on 
apace, and the scenery was being glorified with sunset 
effects. The level rays of the sun lit up most brilliantly 
the Eastern Mountains, striking full upon the sharp 
angular masses of limestone, bringing out in bold relief 
against the sky background the cruel jaggedness of 
their forms, which contrasted strongly with the smooth 
softness of the plain beneath, penetrating and searching 
into the deep rifts and gorges, and defining in detail all 
the savage grandeur of the range. 

But, while we gaze, the shadows have crossed the 
plain, and are climbing the eastern foot of the hills ; 
night is at hand, and there is no time to be lost in looking 
at the view ; so, drumming with moccasined heels on our 
ponies' ribs, we start on the ' dead jump ' and follow at 
a rapid pace the trail, which we can scarcely distinguish 
in the increasing gloom. Without drawing rein we 
galloped steadily on, but not till long after dark did we see 
the red twinkle of our fire, and the white gleam of our 
tents, and hear Jack's hearty voice welcoming us to camp. 

We lay two days at Boteler's, hiring pack animals, 
and manufacturing packing-straps, hooks, and girths (or 
cincts, as the Americans call them) ; and we secured the 



140 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

services of Fred Boteler to act as guide. Active, strong, 
willing and obliging, a keen hunter, always in good 
humour, capable of enduring great hardship, and a 
capital hand at making you comfortable in camp, I can 
confidently recommend him to any one visiting these parts. 
While the others worked, Campbell and I went out 
hunting to supply camp, and a nice mess we made of it. 
We started out into the hills at the back of the house, 
not knowing exactly where to go, and the first thing we 
came across was a dead bear. He was too far gone to 
skin (which was a pity), so we went on till we passed 
out of the region of foot-hills altogether, and struck a 
beautiful-lookmg country for black-tail deer, among the 
first ridges of the mountains. Hill sides black with 
great masses of pine timber alternating with ridges, 
wooded on the top but grass-covered on the flanks, 
and valleys bisected by little streams trickling through 
belts of poplar and aspen, made a perfect feeding-ground 
for deer. And in fact so it turned out to be, for we 
had not gone far before we started three does, but failed 
to get a shot. Not knowing the nature of the ground, 
we had gone out in boots, and among the withered leaves 
and dead sticks that littered the earth we had no chance 
whatever of getting near a deer. Snap would go a dry 
stick under foot, followed immediately by a crashing 
among the branches in the distance, and on stooping 
down we would just catch a glimpse of a brown shadow 
bounding through the trees. We tried it in our stockings, 
but either our feet were not hard enough, or the ground 
was too hard, too thickly covered with prickles and 
littered with sharp stones ; so we were altogether beat, 
and, tired and disgusted, after starting several deer with- 
out getting a shot, we turned our backs to the setting 
sun and made for camp. 



A BEAUTIFUL BUT UNPROFITABLE STALK. 141 

On the way we found a herd of twenty antelope, and 
Campbell made a beautiful stalk, taking me up to them 
over almost level ground, the only cover being tufts of 
coarse grass, a few sage-bushes, and nearly imperceptible 
irregularities in the surface. It was a very long crawl, 
and, like the serpent, on our bellies we had to go all the 
way. But patience was rewarded, and at length, with 
hands and knees full of cactus spikes and spicula of grass, 
we got right among the herd, and lay watching them 
for some time. 

I had never been so near to antelope before, and 
was glad of the opportunity of observing their actions. 
There was only one buck among them. He had 
such a splendid head that I determined to take him 
first, and chance getting a doe — which would be the 
better venison of the two — with the second shot. The 
old buck was lying broadside on, not twenty-five yards 
from me ; he took no notice whatever, but the does were 
uneasy all the time. At last I gently with my gun- 
barrel put aside the coarse stems of the grass behind 
which I was lying at full length, and, sighting for his 
shoulder, fired. At the report the whole herd bounded 
to their feet, and with a snort or rather whistle of sur- 
prise and terror made off at a pace that only an antelope 
can keep up. I was so surprised and annoyed at seeing 
the buck galloping off with the others, and evidently 
unhurt, that I forgot the second barrel altogether, and 
stood gazing in open-mouthed astonishment. How I 
missed that antelope I cannot even now make out. I 
must have fired clean over his back, I suppose. Campbell 
ought to have consoled me after the manner of stalkers, 
and made excuses, and said the beast was five yards 
further than he had guessed him to be, or that a puff of 
wind had come just as I pulled, and that at the same 



142 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

moment the sun had suddenly glinted out ; but he merely- 
observed that it was ' most extrornary, a great peety, 
and a vara bad shot ; ' and I relieved my feelings by 
asserting that it was all his fault, as he had loaded 
' Twilight,' ^ and he must have put in too much powder. 

And so we went home, and were laughed at and 
chaffed by our own folk and by the whole family of 
Botelers. The cook said there was no meat, and muttered 
that we could not hunt ' no how ; ' and Jack supposed 
that he would have to go next time ; and Kingsley 
pointed to a fine dish of fish, and said it was lucky some- 
body could get something to eat ; and finally we had to 
go penitentially, armed with dollars and our knives, and 
ask leave to buy, catch, and kill one of Mr. Boteler's 
pigs, which we did, and ate some with our humble pie. 

Campbell and 1, abandoning sport, spent the next day 
in assisting the others to get things into ship-shape and 
dividing the baggage into bundles of a size and weight 
suitable for packing ; for though the trail from Fort Ellis, 
by which our impedimenta had been transported by 
waggon, continues up to the Hot Springs of Gardiner's 
Eiver — forty miles beyond Boteler's — yet we were obliged 
to transfer the loads to pack-mules here, there being no 
chance of obtaining animals at the other end. 

The following morning we made a start, and a most 
peculiar start it was. It were tedious to note the petty 
particulars of every day's progress. In place thereof, I 
will try to impart to the reader, once for all, some idea 
of the pleasures and miseries, the comforts and incon- 
veniences, attendant upon ' packing.' 

Nothing is so abominably temper-trying as journeying 
with pack animals. Some of the beasts will not feed if 

^ The name of a favourite muzzle-loading rifle. 



THE MYSTERY OF MULE-PACKING. 143 

they are picketed ; and, as it is essential they should eat 
well, you picket one or two only, and turn loose the rest. 
You have a long way to go, we will suppose, and get up 
early in the morning determined to make a good day's 
march, and, while the cook is getting breakfast, send a 
man off to drive in the stock. The rest of the party strike 
the tents, make up the bundles, eat their breakfast, and 
then begin to wax impatient, and wonder what has become 
of the man and the beasts. Presently he comes in with 
the pleasant intelligence that three-fourths of the stock 
have left, that he cannot see them anywhere, and that the 
ground is so hard he cannot trail them. Off you all go, some 
on foot, others mounted on the remaining horses, and in 
two hours' time or so the runaways are found and driven 
in. It is needless to say that they had abandoned very 
fine pasture and wandered many miles to find grass not 
half so good. 

Well, this delay has not tended to improve your 
temper, and then the beasts have to be caught, and that is 
no easy job, and a good deal of kicking and cursing takes 
place. At last they are all secured, and you proceed to 
pack. 

A man stands on each side of the mule to be operated 
upon ; the saddle, a hght wooden frame, is placed on 
his back and securely girthed ; and a long rope is looped 
into proper form and arranged on the saddle. The side 
packs are then lifted into position on each side of the 
saddle and lightly fastened ; the middle bundle is placed 
between them, a few spare articles are flung on the 
top, a tent is thrown over all, and the load is ready to be 
secured. The rope is so fixed that the fall, as it were, is 
on one side and the slack is taken in on the other. Each 
man places one foot against the pack or the animal's ribs, 
and, throwing the whole weight of his body into the 



144 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

effort, hauls with all his strength upon the line ; one pull- 
ing on the fall, the other gathering in and holding all the 
slack, like two sailors sweating down the jib-purchase. 
At each jerk the wretched mule expels an agonised grunt, 
snatches at the men's shoulders, and probably gives one of 
them a sharp pinch, which necessitates immediate retalia- 
tion. The men haul with a Avill, squeezing the poor 
creature's diaphragm most terribly ; smaller and more 
wasp-like grows its waist ; at last not another inch of line 
can be got in, the rope is made fast, and with an ap- 
proving shout of 'Bueno,' the muleteer gives the 
beast a parting spank behind which starts it off, teeter- 
ing about on the tips of its toes like a ballet-dancer. 
The unfortunate animal has assumed the appearance 
and proportions of an hourglass, large at each end and 
exceedingly small in the middle. The apparent suffer- 
ings of that mule arising from undue compression of its 
digestive apparatus are pitiable to behold ; but it is all 
'kid;' the heart of a mule is deceitful altogether, and 
in an hour's time that pack will require tightening again. 
Having done with one animal, the packers proceed 
to the next, and so on through the lot. While you are 
busy with the others, Nos. 1 and 2 have occupied them- 
selves in tracing mystic circles in and out among, and 
round and round several short, stumpy, thickly branching 
firs, and, having with diabolical ingenuity twisted, tied, 
and tangled their trail-ropes into inextricable confusion, 
are standing there patiently in their knots. No. 3, on 
whose back the brittle and perishable articles have 
been entrusted, he being regarded as a steady and 
reliable animal of a serious turn of mind, has acquired 
a stomach-ache from the unusual constriction of that 
organ, and is rolling over and over, flourishing all four 
legs in the air at once. No. 4, who carries the bed- 



OLD BILLY LEADS THE WAY. 145 

ding, a pack bulky but light, and measuring six feet in 
diameter, has thought to run between two trees only five 
feet six inches apart, and, hopelessly jammed there, is trying 
vainly to back out stern first. She is a persevering creature, 
and will in time back herself out of the pack altogether. 
Nos. 5 and 6, fidgeting and twisting about as only mules 
can do, come into violent and unexpected collision with 
each other behind, and with ears laid back and tails tucked 
between their legs are squealing and letting fly, as if they 
never expected to have another chance of kicking in this 
world. It is no use interfering ; nothing will stop them. 
You may use language strong enough to split a rock, hot 
enough to fuse a diamond, without effect ; you may lay 
hold of the trail-ropes and drag as hard as you like, but 
you might as well catch the tail end of an express train 
and expect to stop it. It is wiser to refrain from all 
active intervention, for possibly you may be kicked ; 
certainly you will be knocked down and dragged about the 
place in a sitting posture, to the great destruction of your 
pants. You may, and of course you do, curse and swear 
your ' level best'; but it does not do a bit of good. Go on 
they will, till they kick their packs off; and then they 
must be caught, the scattered articles gathered together, 
and the whole operation commenced afresh. 

At last things are all fixed. Boteler leads off on his 
riding-horse, old ' Billy,' for the mules know him and 
will follow him anywhere ; and the pack animals straggle 
after. We take a careful look over the place lately occu- 
pied by our camp, to see that nothing is left behind ; coil 
up our lariats, tie them behind the cantle, take our rifles, 
swing into the saddle, and spread out in open files, some 
behind, some on the flanks, to keep the cavalcade in order. 
All goes very nicely for awhile ; the beasts are plodding 
along, very slowly it is true, for some will wander, while 



146 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

others will stop to graze ; when suddenly Satan enters 
into the heart of the hindermost animal. A wild ambition 
fires his soul; he breaks into a trot, and tries to pass to the 
front. A tin bucket begins jangling on his back ; he gets 
frightened at the noise, and breaks into a canter. The 
bucket bangs from side to side ; all the small articles in the 
pack rattle and shake ; an axe gets loose, and the handle 
drops and strikes against his ribs ; he fancies that there must 
be something alive upon his back hurting and belabouring 
him — something that must at any price be got rid of. A 
panic seizes him, and, wild with fright, he breaks into a 
mad gallop. Yells of entreaty, volleys of oaths are hurled 
at him ; two of us try to cut him off, and only add to 
his terror and make matters worse. The pack begins to 
slip over his tail ; mad with ungovernable fear, blind with 
terror, he kicks, squeals, and plunges. A saucepan flies 
out here, a lot of meat-cans there ; a sack of flour bursts 
open and spills its precious contents over the ground ; the 
hatchet, innocent cause of all the row, is dangling 
round his neck ; a frying-pan is wildly banging about his 
quarters ; until at last he bucks himself clean out of the 
whole affair and, trembling and sweating with fear, stands 
looking on the havoc he has wrought, and wondering 
what on earth the noise was all about. 

After a few days things settle down into their 
places, and everything works smoothly enough ; but, at 
the best, travelling with pack mules is a slow and weary 
process. To keep up about fifteen miles a day for any 
length of time is good work ; and a great deal of time is 
wasted every morning in getting the animals in and fixing 
their loads. Mules are proverbially obstinate, and the 
specimens with which I have had the honour of being 
acquainted have not belied their reputation. ' To exhort 
the impenitent mule ' is a fashionable attainment in the 



A STUPENDOUS SWEARER. 147 

territories ; and, to become a good driver of ox or mule 
teams, a man must learn the art of hard swearing. Such 
a man as that Pike, mentioned by Clarence King in his 
dehghtful book, ' Mountaineering in the Sierra I^evada,' 
commands high wages. The scene is so well described 
that I cannot refrain from quoting it : — 

' The great van rocked, settled a little on the near 
side, and stuck fast. 

' With a look of despair the driver got off and laid 
the lash freely among his team ; they jumped and jerked, 
frantically tangled themselves up, and at last all sulked 
and became stubbornly immovable. Meanwhile a mile 
of teams behind, unable to pass on the narrow grade, 
came to an unwilling halt. 

' About five waggons back I noticed a tall Pike, 
dressed in a checked shirt, and pantaloons tucked into 
jack-boots. A soft felt hat worn on the back of his 
head displayed long locks of flaxen hair, which hung 
freely about a florid pink countenance, noticeable for its 
pair of violent little blue eyes and facial angle, rendered 
acute by a sharp long nose. 

' This fellow watched the stoppage with impatience, 
and at last, when it was more than he could bear, walked 
up by the other team with a look of wrath absolutely 
devilish. One would have expected him to blow up with 
rage; yet withal his gait and manner were cool and 
soft in the extreme. In a bland, almost tender voice, 
he said to the unfortunate driver, " My friend, perhaps I 
can help you," and his gentle way of disentanghng and 
patting the leaders would have given him a high office 
under Mr. Bergh. He leisurely examined the embedded 
wheel, and cast an eye along the road ahead. He then 
began in rather an excited manner to swear, pouring it 
out louder and more profane, till he utterly eclipsed the 



148 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

most horrid blasphemies I ever heard, pihng them up 
thicker and more fiendish till it seemed as if the very- 
earth must open and engulf him. 

' I noticed one mule after another give a little squat, 
bringing their breasts hard against the collars and strain- 
ing traces, until only one old mule, with ears back and 
dangling chain, still held out. The Pike walked up and 
yelled one gigantic oath ; her ears sprang forward, she 
squatted in terror, and the iron links grated under her 
strain. He then stepped back and took the rein, every 
trembling mule looking out of the corner of its eye and 
listening at qui vive. 

' With a peculiar air of deliberation and of child- 
like simphcity he said in every-day tones, " Come up 
then, mules." 

' One quick strain, a slight rumble, and the waggon 
rolled on to Copple's.' 

Getting into camp in the evening is not nearly such 
a lengthy operation as getting out of it again in the 
morning ; — in this respect it resembles getting in and out 
of the bed of civilisation. Men soon get used to it, and 
learn instinctively to undertake each a separate job, and 
not to interfere with one another. One of us. Jack for 
instance, would ride ahead, and pick a suitable place with 
plenty of grass, wood, water, good shelter from the wind, 
and a nice level soft place for the tents. Having fixed 
upon a spot, he would await our arrival. The mules, as 
soon as they catch sight of his pony unsaddled and 
cropping the grass, would know that the end of their 
troubles was near, and would press forward, each animal 
trying to get in first and be relieved of its heavy burden. 
' Where will you have the tents ? ' I ask, riding up in 
front of the outfit. ' There is a nice place,' says Jack ; 
'dry, sheltered, and level. I think they will do very 



CAMP DOMESTICITIES. 149 

well there with the backs to the north.' ' All right ; ' 
and the animal bearing the tents and bedding is led to 
the indicated place. ' Where shall I put the fire, Sir ? ' 
inquires the cook. ' There, in that little hollow,' replies 
Jack ; ' there is plenty of dead wood close by, and the 
wind will blow the smoke clear of the tents.' ' Not much 
of a place that for a fire ; they seem to think I can cook 
anywhere ; how the devil do they expect me to manage, 
I wonder ? ' grumbles Maxwell to himself. He is sure to 
develope some sort of grievance. It is either too far from 
water or not far enough ; the wood is all wet, is bad in 
quality or insufficient in quantity ; something or other 
is the matter ; but, all the same, he conducts his mule to 
the place, lights a little fire, and busies himself in ar- 
ranging his batterie de cuisine. Two men attend to each 
animal as he comes m, loosen the ropes, and ease down 
the pack. The tired beast walks off, has a good re- 
freshing roll, and proceeds to graze. I take the axe, 
walk down to the creek, and speedily return with six 
long straight saplings for tent-poles, and a lot of short 
stout sticks for pegs. These I throw down, and go off* to 
cut firewood. Dr. Kingsley puts his rod together and gets 
a dish of trout for supper and breakfast. Boteler takes 
care of the stock, leads them to water if necessary, drives 
them into good pasture, and pickets some of them, 
Campbell and Jack set up the tents, pitch out all the stones., 
and fir-cones, cut down the stumps and roots with a^ 
shovel or axe, and stamp the surface smooth with their 
feet ; then cut a lot of long dry grass, spread it evenly 
over the ground, and unroll the buffalo robes and 
blankets. Each man places his bag or bundle at the 
head of his bed, and lays his rifle, cartridges, and pistol 
beside it ; rummages out his tobacco-pouch and pipe, a 
pair of dry moccasins and socks, or anything else he 

M 



150 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

requires to make himself comfortable ; then goes down to 
the creek with a lump of soap and a coarse towel, and 
removes in its icy cold waters the dust and travel-stains 
of the day's march. Somebody suggests a drink ; the keg 
is produced, and a little old Bourbon at the bottom of 
a tin pannikin, very shghtly diluted with water, gives just 
the amount of stimulus to the system that is required, 
freshens you up, and makes you feel ready for the supper 
which your nose ascertains is nearly ready for you. 

After dinner all hands are pretty tired and soon go to 
rest, for late hours are not fashionable in these parts. 
But there are two or three things to be done first, and 
some necessary precautions to be taken. 

If it is cold we shall have pitched the three tents on 
the circumference of a circle, the centre of which would be 
a point about four or ^ve yards in front of them, and two 
or three large trunks of fallen trees must be rolled and 
lugged into camp, cut into twelve-foot lengths, and a 
large bonfire made that will radiate heat through the 
canvas and keep us warm all night. If there is any chance 
of rain a prudent man will dig a little trench round the 
tent, for nothing is more disgusting than to wake and find 
yourself and your bedding soaked through, and a gradu- 
ally increasing flood invadmg the floor of your abode. 
It is not amusing to spend a long night sitting on your 
saddle, with your knees tucked up, in the middle of a 
muddy sea, wishing for the day. 

By the time all this is done it is getting late. Campbell 
and Maxwell have finished their supper and washed up 
the things, and are now quarrelling about who shall have 
the best side of their tent. The Doctor lies flat on his back 
by the fire, his head supported by a saddle, a smile of in- 
efiable content stealing over his countenance under the 
soothing influence of the divine weed. Jack, who is of 



TURNING IN. 161 

course also smoking — he always is smoking, except when 
he is eating, and the few minutes he is obliged to devote 
to mastication are grudgingly given — is holding forth to 
the rest of us, telling us some thrilhng tale of cattle raids 
away down by the Eio Grande on the Mexican frontier ; 
graphically describing some wild scurry with the Com- 
anches on the plains of Texas ; or making us laugh over 
some utterly absurd story narrated in that comical lan- 
guage and with that quaint dry humour which are peculiar 
to the American nation. Boteler is lying on his stomach, 
toasting on a willow-wand a final fragment of meat. He 
does not use tobacco, and eats all the time that others 
smoke. He is greatly relishing Jack's story, except when 
some not over-comphmentary allusion to the Yankees 
comes in ; for Boteler served in the Federal Army during 
the great Civil War, while Jack, Virginian born and 
raised in Texas, naturally went in for the Southern side. 
I am squatting Indian fashion, wrapped in my blanket, 
for it is getting chilly ; and Wynne is reclining on his 
elbow, warming on the embers his last pannikin of tea. 

Pipes are let out ; men begin to yawn. Wynne and 
Kingsley say ' good-night,' and go to their tent. Jack 
also prepares to go to bed ; and, after pondering awhile 
whether he will take off his leather breeches or not, 
finally decides not to do so. I linger somewhat, gazing 
into the embers, reluctant to leave the pleasant warmth 
of the fire ; then, after turning the logs and rolling on a 
fresh chunk of wood, I call up Tweed, and together we 
creep into the little tent where I find Jack already in the 
land of dreams. The dog turns round and round three 
or four times, and with a long sigh of satisfaction curls up 
at my feet. I double up my coat on the saddle and place 
it under my head for a pillow, tie up the door, roll up in 
my blanket, and lie down and feel more comfortable than 

M 2 



152 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

in the most luxurious bed. For a little while I lie 
blissfully awake, listening to the sighing of the pine-trees, 
the whisper of the night wind to the aspens, and the 
low murmuring of the little stream ; watching through 
the thin canvas the moving shadows of the branches, 
cast by the broad full moon sailing overhead through a 
cloud-flecked sky ; or blinking drowsily at the red and 
faltering flicker of the firelight ; until in sweet slumber I 
wander imperceptibly across the borders of reality and 
fact, and revel in the delicious incongruities of a pleasant 
dream, or glide into the utter oblivion of sound death- 
like sleep. 

About one or two in the morning I awake (probably 
Tweed has got cold and, leaving his nest at my feet, has 
tried to get nearer to my body) and find the fire burning 
brightly, and Jack sitting up in bed smoking, for he is of 
a wakeful disposition, and has been out to look about and 
put on some fresh fuel. We have a smoke and a talk,, 
see what time it is, get sleepy and curl up again. The 
next time consciousness invades me I hear Jack outside, 
yawning, stretching, stamping on the ground, and mak- 
ing all manner of strange Indian noises. The morning 
star is high, the east is getting w^hite, and it is time to 
get up. A muttered damn from the other tent, grunts 
and growls from Campbell and the cook, announce that 
the camp is awake. One by one the inmates crawl out 
of their beds ; toilets don't take long, consisting as they 
do of a shake and a stretch and a little eye-rubbing. 
The fire is freshened up. Jack, after the manner of his 
race, takes a good square honest drink of whisky 
' straight,' while hot cofTee dispels the vapour of the night 
and clears the cobwebs from the brains of the rest of us. 
The stock is driven in, and while breakfast is preparing 
we make ready for the work of another day. 



A PICTURESQUE PROCESSION. 153 

A start very like that which I have attempted to 
describe above was made on leaving Boteler's Eanch on 
Tuesday morning. It was a cold sleety day, enlivened 
by occasional hailstorms. The animals were all chilly 
and out of temper — a state of things which was somewhat 
shared in by the men. Boteler led the way, followed by 
the pack mules ; then came Campbell on a diminutive 
pony, his long legs almost trailing on the ground, accom- 
panied by the cook, sulky as all niggers are in cold 
weather, hung round with baskets, cans, buckets, jars, 
and all sorts of kitchen impedimenta, which he could not 
stow away ; and the Doctor, Jack, and I brought up the 
rear. Many mishaps we had during that day's march 
of eight miles, and right glad we were to get into camp 
at the end of it. 

Though the weather was still disagreeable, we got 
along much better on Wednesday, making a very fair 
march, and camping comfortably on a little creek (the 
name of which I forget) that discharges itself into the 
Yellowstone. 

Being very unwilling to go to the Geysers without 
Wynne, whom I now expected every day, I determined 
to leave a permanent camp there, and, taking one pack 
mule and a spare horse, to go up into the mountains for a 
few days' hunt. Accordingly, the next morning four of 
us, taking only the two hght mosquito bars and a blanket 
apiece, started up the creek. We at first experienced 
some difficulty in making our way. The creek bottom 
w^as quite impracticable, and 200 or 300 feet above 
it the slopes were so steep that the animals could 
scarcely retain their foothold on the slippery grass. 
We might have left the valley altogether by ascending 
one of the spurs that led out of it up to the mountains, 
and following along the crests ; but it was doubtful 



154 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

whether we could have descended further on. We 
therefore made the best course we could below, and, by 
carefully picking the way, we got along safely enough, 
and after a few miles struck a strong deer-trail leading 
in the direction we wished to go, and followed it. 

Towards the lower end of this valley the sides are 
composed of washed-down deposits, detritus, and fallen 
debris, forming hillocks, water-worn by numerous little 
rills, covered with short slippery grass, and sloping very 
steeply towards the creek that brawls along below, 
fringed with poplars, alders, and aspens. The middle 
portion is quite different ; the stream flows with a more 
steady current through pine woods ; the ground slopes 
gently upwards, covered on one side by dense forest, on 
the other broken into little parks and glades, till it abuts 
on a long impassable scarp, above which the mountains 
tower in successive slopes and cliffs. A little further on 
the valley closes up somewhat, leaving only a narrow 
strip of comparatively level ground near the creek, from 
which the mountain rises very steep, but still practicable 
for a height of about 2,000 feet or so. At that elevation 
a sort of plateau exists, tolerably level, well timbered and 
covered with good grass. It gradually rises towards the 
east, and extends quite to the head of the ravine, where it 
terminates among the mountains. At the opposite side 
to us, that is to say, on the south, this plateau leads up to 
a sheer precipice, which forms the northern crest of 
another valley. The upper part of the gorge is very 
marshy ; and just at the head, where the creek, dividing 
into numerous httle forks and branches, takes its rise, it, 
forms a circular basin, the bottom and sides of which are 
made of mud-heaps washed down from the peaks. This 
soft deposit is cut by numerous little rills into deep dykes, 
wet, slippery, and full of dead trunks of dwarf junipers 



WAPITI. 155 

and cedars. The mountains themselves, constituting the 
rim of the basin, are composed of or coated with thick 
tenacious clay. This substance, wet with the constantly 
falling and quickly melting snow, is indescribably slippery, 
and forms about the most dangerous ground that it has 
ever been my lot to walk over. 

Two or three tributaries discharge their waters into 
the principal creek, through small gulches and valleys ; 
and in one place a great circular break occurs in the 
mountains, rimmed round by steep broken cliffs. Up 
this principal stream we wound our way towards the 
head of the valley, half asleep, for the day was very hot 
— one of those blazing 'foxy' days (as sailors would 
say) that frequently occur in the middle of a cold stormy 
spell, and indicate worse weather to come — when all of 
a sudden, skip ! jump ! away went three deer leaping 
through the trees, flourishing their white tails after the 
manner of their kind. ' G — d Al — ty d — n,' says Jack, 
' there goes our supper ! Why the h — 1 don't you fellows 
in front look out ? ' Well, we fellows in front did look 
out after that, and before long I jerked my horse on to his 
haunches and slid quietly off. The others followed my 
example without a word, for they too had caught a 
glimpse of the dark-brown forms of some wapiti feeding 
quietly in the wood. Boteler, in his enthusiasm, seized 
me violently by the arm and hurried into the timber, 
ejaculating at every glimpse of the forms moving through 
the trees, ' There they go ! There they go ! Shoot ! JSTow 
then ! There's a chance.' All the time he was dragging 
me along, and I could no more shoot than fly. At last I 
shook myself clear of him, and, getting a fair easy shot at 
a large fat doe, fired and killed her. 

Wapiti are the stupidest brutes in creation ; and, instead 
of making off at once, the others all bunched up and 



156 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

stared about them, so that we got two more before they 
made up their minds to clear out. There was a fine stag 
in the herd, but, as is usually the case, he managed to 
get himself well among the hinds out of harm's way, and 
none of us could get a chance at him. Boteler and I 
followed his tracks for an hour, but could not come up 
with him ; and, finding that he had taken clear up the 
mountain, we returned to the scene of action. There we 
found the rest of the party busily engaged in gralloching 
and cutting up the huge deer. One of them was a yeld 
hind, in first-rate condition and as fat as butter. We 
were very glad of fresh meat, and, as the ground was 
very suitable, determined to camp right there, and send 
some of the flesh down to the main camp in the morning. 
Accordingly, having skinned and hung up the quarters 
and choice pieces of venison, we pitched our lilliputian 
tents at the foot of two huge hemlocks, lit a fire, and 
proceeded to make ourselves comfortable for the night. 

We were all smoking round the fire — a most attentive 
audience, watching with much interest the culinary feats 
which Boteler was performing — when we were startled 
by a most unearthly sound. Jack and Boteler knew it 
well, but none of us strangers had ever heard a wapiti 
stag roaring before, and it is no wonder we w^ere asto- 
nished at the noise. The wapiti never calls many times 
in quick succession, as his little cousin the red stag 
of Europe frequently does, but bellows forth one great 
roar, commencing with a hollow, harsh, unnatural sound, 
and ending in a shrill screech like the whistle of a loco- 
motive. In about ten minutes this fellow called again, 
a good deal nearer, and the third time he was evi- 
dently close to camp ; so catching up ' Twilight ' I and 
Jack started out, and, advancing cautiously, we pre- 
sently through a bush distinguished in the gloom the 



GRIZZLIES. 157 

dark body and antlered head of a real monarch of the 
forest as he stalked out into an open glade and stared 
with astonishment at our fire. He looked perfectly mag- 
nificent. He was a splendid beast, and his huge bulk, 
looming large in the uncertain twilight, appeared gigantic. 
He stood without betraying the slightest sign of fear or 
hesitation ; but, as if searching with proud disdain for 
the intruder that had dared to invade his solitude, he 
slowly swept round the branching spread of his antlers, 
his neck extended and his head a little thrown back, and 
snuffed the air. I could not see the fore sight of the little 
muzzle-loader, but luck attended the aim, for the bullet 
struck him high up and a little to the back of the shoulder ; 
and, shot through the spine, the largest wapiti stag that I 
had ever killed fell stone-dead in his tracks. 

It was early in the season, and his hide was in first- 
rate condition, a rich glossy brown on the sides and jet 
black along the back and on the legs ; so Jack and I 
turned to, cut off his head and skinned him ; and, by 
the time we had done that and had packed the head and 
hide into camp, it was pitch dark, when we were ready 
for supper and blankets. 

That night the carcasses were visited by two grizzly 
bears. We could hear them smashing bushes, clawing 
up earth, and, to use the vernacular, 'playing hell 
generally.' Every succeeding night they came, some- 
times as many as four of them together, generally ar- 
riving after dark and leaving before light. 

It was impossible to get a chance at them at night, 
for there was no moon, and the sky was invariably cloudy 
and overcast ; and during the day they stowed themselves 
away among the crags, defying detection. We were very 
unlucky with them indeed, for though bears were plentiful 
in the valley, and the members of our party had inter- 



158 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

views with them, we got only one, a middUng-sized beast, 
weighing about 800 pounds. Had we been provided 
with a dog to track them, we should have obtained many 
more. 

These bears behaved in a very singular manner. 
They scarcely ate any of the flesh, but took the greatest 
pains to prevent any other creature getting at it. I had 
hung a hind-quarter of one of the does on a branch, well 
out of reach, as I supposed, and had left the skin on the 
ground. To my great astonishment, on going to look for 
it in the morning, I found the meat had been thrown 
down by a bear, carried about 300 yards, and deposited 
under a tree. The brute had then returned, taken the skin, 
spread it carefully over the flesh, scraped up earth over the 
edges, patted it all down hard and smooth, and departed 
without eating a morsel. All the carcasses were treated 
in the same way, the joints being pulled asunder and 
buried under heaps of earth, sticks, and stones. The* 
beasts must have worked very hard, for the ground was 
all torn up and trampled by them, and stank horribly of 
bear. They did not appear to mind the proximity of 
camp in the least, or to take any notice of us or our 
tracks. A grizzly is an independent kind of beast, and 
has a good deal of don't-care-a-damnativeness about him. 
Except in spring, when hunger drives him to travel a 
good deal, he is very shy, secluded in his habits, and hard 
to find ; very surly and ill-tempered when he is found, 
exceedingly tenacious of life, and most savage when 
wounded or attacked. Few hunters care to go after the 
grizzly, the usual answer being, ' No, thank you ; not 
any for me. I guess I ain't lost no bears ; ' thereby im- 
plying that the speaker does not want to find any. 

One day, while camped in the same place. Jack came in 
quite early, looking rather flustered, sat down, filled his 



JACK'S ADVENTURE. 159 

pipe, and said, ' J — s ! I have seen the biggest bear in the 
world. D — n me if he didn't scare me properly. Give me 
a drink and I'll tell you.' He then proceeded : — ' I started 
out to try and strike some of those white-tail we saw, if you 
remember, as we were coming up, for I am getting pretty 
tired of elk meat ; — ain't you ? Well, the patch of timber 
is quite small there, and beyond it is nothing but rocks. 
So when I found there was no fresh sign in the wood I 
took the back track for camp. When I got near where 
the first elk was killed I saw something moving, and 
dropped behind a tree. There, within sixty yards of me, 
was a grizzly as big as all outside. By G — d, he was 
a tearer, I tell you. Well, I had been walking fast and 
was a little shaky, so I lay still for some time to get quiet, and 
watched that bear, and I'll be dog-goned if ever I saw such 
a comical devil in my life. He was as lively as a cow's tail 
in fly time, jumping round the carcass, covering it with mud, 
and plastering and patting it down with his feet, grumbling 
to himself all the time, as if he thought it a burning shame 
that elk did not cover themselves up when they died. When 
he had got it all fixed to his satisfaction, he would move 
ofi* towards the cliff, and immediately two or three whisky- 
jacks,' that had been perched on the trees looking on, 
would drop down on the carcass and begin picking and 
fluttering about. Before he had gone far the old bear 
would look round, and, seeing them interfering with his 
work, would get real mad, and come lumbering back in 
a h — 1 of a rage, drive off the birds, and pile up some 
more earth and mud. This sort of game went on for 
some time. Finally I got a fair broadside shot, and, taking 
a steady sight, I fired. You should have heard the 
yell he gave ; it made me feel sort of kind of queer, 
I tell you. I never heard any beast roar like it 

^ Wliisky-jack, or Camp-robber ; a very impertinent species of magpie. 



160 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

before, and hope I never may again ; it was the most 
awful noise you can imagine. He spun round at the 
shot, sat up on his haunches, tore the earth up, and flung 
it about, boxed the trees with his hands, making the bark 
fly again, looking for what hurt him, and at last, having 
vented his rage a little and seeing nothing, turned and 
skinned out for the rocks, as if the devil kicked him. 
No, Sir ! You bet your life he didn't see me. I lay on 
the grass as flat, by G — d, as a flap-jack until he was out 
of sight. Well, all right ; laugh if you like, but wait till 
you see one, and then you'll find out how you feel. / 
don't want to have any more bear-hunting alone, any- 
how. It's all well enough with the black bears down 
south ; I don't mind them ; but I ain't a going to fool 
round alone among these grizzlies, I tell you. Why, with 
one blow of the paw they would rip a man up and scatter 
him all over the place ; you just look at the marks of his 
claws on the trees, and the furrows he has torn in the 
hard ground.' 

We went to survey the scene of action, and there, sure 
enough, were the marks of the bear's claws on the trees 
and on the ground, marks most unpleasant and edifying 
to behold. We followed that bear for a whole long day, 
up the mountain side, trailing him very quickly when we 
got to the snow on the top. We found that after crossing 
the plateau to the next valley, and descending that for 
some distance, he had tiurned back, and by almost re- 
tracing his steps had at last arrived at a great mass of 
fallen clifls and rocks, close to where Jack shot at him. 
There of course we lost him : but he was killed some 
days afterwards at the very same carcass where Jack 
had wounded him. On examination it appeared Jack 
had fired low, and beyond cutting a deep score in the 
skin and flesh the bullet had done no damage. 



URSINE ENCOUNTERS. 161 

Dr. Kingsley also had a private audience. He was out 
one day armed with a httle Ballard rifle looking for deer, 
when he espied a grizzly, ' as big as a bull,' coming 
towards him. The doctor walked on, and the grizzly 
walked on ; and as the latter did not appear to ' scare 
worth a cent,' or to have the smallest intention of giving 
way, the former, concluding that his gymnastic acquire- 
ments might not be equal to swarming up a tree with a 
bear close in pursuit, adopted a more prudent course. 
He determined to climb first and shoot after. Accord- 
ingly, he ensconced himself in a comfortable fork of a 
tree, under which the bear should pass, and waited chuck- 
ling to himself at the prospect of the nice, safe and easy 
shot he was about to have : but Bruin, evidently thinking 
that that was taking a mean advantage of him, would not? 
play any more, but went off in another direction, and 
Kingsley, coming down disconsolate, returned to camp in 
the condition of Artemus Ward's poor Indian, who, 
' though clothed before, yet left his bear behind.' 

Campbell too had an adventure ; which, as I am on the 
subject of bears, I may as well mention, though it did not: 
occur in the same place. Lying out one fine day by a little 
pond, not many miles from Fort Bridger, with a small 
muzzle-loader of mine, waiting for deer, he presently hears 
a great pounding and crashing among the trees, and out 
walks a bear not five yards from him. With more pluck 
than prudence Campbell fired at him, striking him in the 
shoulder. The bear gave a hideous yell, and sat up on his 
haunches looking for his assailant ; upon which Campbell 
slapped the other barrel into his chest, and, jumping up, 
ran for his life, and the bear after him. Fortunately for the 
man, he was provided with a pair of very long Scotch legs, 
of which he made great use, and the bear, sickened by 
two mortal wounds, and not feehng up to a vigorous 



162 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

pursuit, made only two or three jumps after him, or there 
would have been one of the party wiped out. As it was, 
he fled without looking back for 200 yards, and then, run- 
ning up the sloping trunk of a fallen tree, ventured to 
throw a glance over his shoulder, when to his great relief 
he saw the beast making off. He had had sufficient bear- 
hunting for one day, however, and did not pursue. By 
the time he got back to camp it was too late to do any- 
thing ; but the next day we all went out to look for Bruin. 

We had some difficulty in finding the pond, for 
Campbell's mind was so full of bear on the preceding 
evening that he had not very accurately noticed the ap- 
pearance of the woods. So we all separated and hunted 
about for it, and finally Jack, Campbell, and I got together 
at the right pond. We saw the impression in the grass 
where the man had been lying and the marks that the 
beast had left where he made his spring, and had no 
difficulty in following the trail, for the ground was literally 
soaked with blood pouring from both wounds. It was 
evident by the colour of the blood and by other signs 
that the poor beast was mortally wounded, and we 
followed in high hopes. We had not gone far before we 
noticed that the bear had become so weak as to be 
obliged to crawl under, instead of climbing over, the fallen 
trunks ; and we expected to come across him, savage and 
desperate, at any moment. After a mile or two the trail 
led into a httle swamp, and as we could not find any 
tracks going out it appeared evident that he had remained 
in there. 

We were all most civil to each other. Such was our 
modesty that no one seemed anxious to put himself pro- 
minently forward, to claim the post of honour ; and this 
diffidence continued until Jack, breaking the ice of re- 
straint, volunteered for the forlorn hope, and taking off 



A HOT PURSUIT. 163 

his coat, and leaving behind him all weighty articles ex- 
cept his gun, divesting himself, in short, of everything that 
could interfere with quick movement, cautiously entered 
the swamp. The Highlander and I stationed ourselves on 
a slight eminence, from which we could see well into the 
willow-bushes, ready to warn Jack of the smallest sign of 
danger and to turn the bear. Lord ! what a state of 
anxiety (I don't like to say funk) I was in ! My mouth 
was just as dry as a lime-burner's breeches ; and my eyes 
ached with peering into the long grass and brush, ex- 
pecting every moment to see the great brute bounce out. 
However, we drew the cover blank, and, after carefully re- 
examining the swamp, discovered the trail leaving it on 
the other side. The bear, who had probably stayed in 
the water several hours, had completely stanched his 
wounds with mud. There were no longer any blood- 
stains to guide us, and it was with much difficulty that 
we could distinguish his tracks on the hard ground. It is 
very tedious work puzzling out a blind trail. But Jack, 
with his nose almost on the ground, kept deciphering it step 
by step, while Campbell and I made casts ahead, and 
occasionally hit it off some distance in advance, where his 
feet had pressed upon some softer patch of earth, or 
where he had trodden upon sand or among leaves ; and 
by this means we got along tolerably fast. 

After a while blood stains became frequent again ; 
exercise had caused his wounds to break out afresh, and 
with renewed hopes we rapidly pursued the quarry. 
Another two or three miles passed, and by the signs we 
judged that we must be very close to him. ' Say ! ' whispers 
Jack ; ' go slow now, he is right here somewhere ; he has 
only just managed to drag himself over this trunk. See 
there ! how he has reeled against that tree ; look how wide 
his footmarks are ! Why he has almost fallen here, and 



164 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

by Jove ! see, there he has fallen altogether. Look out, 
boys ! First thing, you know, he will be on the top of 
us ; never you mind the trail. I'll take care of that : you 
just keep your heads low and your eyes skinned, and 
look well under the bushes, and, when you do see him, 
give him fits ' 

We v/ent very cautiously now, expecting every 
moment to put him up or find him dead ; but we were 
disappointed. After falUng three or four times in fifty 
yards, the bear, unable to walk any further, had dragged 
himself through the long grass into a little run. There he 
had rolled in the clay and water until he succeeded for 
the second time in stopping the flow of blood. When we 
reached the spot the mud was just barely commencing to 
settle in the water ; he could not have left more than a 
few minutes, and we hstened, expecting to hear him 
forcing his way through the brush. In all probability we 
had ourselves scared him out of the place, and we felt 
satisfied that we were bound to come up with him before 
long. 

But alas and alas for all our hopes and all our trouble ! 
The watercourse led into a large swamp, several miles 
long and half a mile broad, made up of old beaver dams, 
full of deep holes and stagnant streams, and thickly covered 
with a tangled and almost impenetrable cover of willow 
and alder. There we lost our bear, and there we left him. 
A heavy shower came on and obliterated all trace and 
trail, and in the face of a blinding, pelting, pitiless rain we 
were forced to give up the search and make the best of 
oiu' way home. And a first-rate land-fall we made, con- 
sidering that we had neither sun nor compass to guide us, 
and had to guess a straight course through the same woods 
that we had so crookedly traversed in the morning while 
following the devious windings of the trail. What an 



THE PHILOSOPHY OF COLDS. iQ5 

awful ducking we did get ! I had on new buckskin 
trousers, too, and what misery those garments caused me ! 
They stretched about twelve inches at least, got under 
my feet and threw me down, and hampered my legs with 
their cold, clammy stickiness to such an extent that I 
could scarcely walk. We were all thoroughly drenched, 
and did not take long to change, in spite of the guide, old 
Man Smith, asking us whether we wanted to catch our 
deaths of cold, shifting our wet things in that way. He 
stood, smoking like a volcano, by the fire that evening 
till he was well warmed though still wet ; then rolling 
himself up in his dripping blanket, he slept out in the 
rain under a tree, and the next morning arose from his 
lair steaming, — looking like Venus in dirty buckskin 
breeches emerging from a hot bath. 

The next day we all went back again to the scene of 
action, riding through and through the swamp on our 
horses, but could see nothing of the dead beast, for dead 
by that time he must have been. We were much vexed, 
for the bear, to judge by his footprints, must have been an 
enormous animal, and it was just the time of year when 
their fur is in best condition. 

But to return to our tents. On the morning succeedinoj 
the killing of the big wapiti stag, w^e all ' slept in,' the 
previous day having been an exhausting one, and, moreover, 
we had not gone to bed — if a blanket on the ground can 
be dignified with such a name — till very late. We had 
barely got our eyes and ears open before we heard wapiti 
roaring up the valley not far from camp, and Boteler and 
I immediately started in pursuit, hoping to overtake them 
on the low grounds. Our laziness proved adverse to sport. 
If we had been out only an hour earher, we should have 
experienced no difficulty in getting up to them in the grey 
dawn ; but by the time we reached the place where 

N 



166 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

they had been feeding they had taken to the mountains 
in search of a seckided spot to he down in, leaving a 
broad trail, showing by the numerous tracks that a large 
band had passed by. We followed at our best pace, but 
the ground was very steep, and the deer were moving so 
fast that it was some time before we could get near them. 
At last we came in view of the herd — some forty or fifty 
hinds and four stags. They had stopped for the moment, 
and were feeding when we first caught sight of them ; but, 
before we could approach, the stags had moved the 
hinds on again, and were driving them up the mountain 
at a pace that we could not keep up with. 

Walking, or trying to run fast up an extremely steep 
hill-side, when the ground is rendered wet and slippery 
by melting snow, may be a very fine exercise, but, at an 
altitude of 8,000 feet or so, certainly it is awfully trying 
upon the muscles and lungs. Boteler no doubt, if alone, 
would soon have overtaken the game, he being very 
strong, hardy, and in first-rate condition ; but I, soft as I 
was, and unaccustomed as yet to mountain walking, made 
rather a poor hand of it. However, I did my best, and 
ran till I was sea-sick. The work — to my great joy — 
was telling heavily upon Boteler also, for his nose began 
to bleed violently; and we would both willingly have 
given up the chase had not the sight of an unusually fine 
head encouraged us to proceed. 

Every now and then, when open spaces favoured the 
view, we could see the whole band straggling up the 
mountain before us. The hinds would walk on fast for 
awhile, then, stopping to snatch a mouthful of grass, would 
wander ofi* on either side. They even showed a disposition 
to loiter or stop altogether, which was not encouraged by 
the stags, who, roaring at intervals of ten minutes or a 
quarter of an hour, kept behind and on the flanks of the 



A HEADER. 167 

herd and drove them steadily onward. At last they all 
stopped again, and we thought we might make a stalk upon 
them ; but to our great annoyance an old stag lay down in a 
little coule or run of water on a piece of ground so exposed 
that we could by no means circumvent him. There he lay, 
the brute ! long after the others had gone on, rolling him- 
self about in the water, every now and then stretching out 
his neck and throwing his head up wdth a hoarse bellow. 
At last he got up and followed the band, and we, as soon 
as he was out of sight, resumed the pursuit. The deer 
had got a long way ahead by this time ; but after about 
an hour's very hard work, for the snow was getting deeper 
and deeper as we ascended, and our progress was propor- 
tionately slow and laborious, we came upon them in some 
timber, which gave us the long- wished- for opportunity of 
crawling up to within about 150 yards. After infinite 
labour, much shifting of position, and crawling and 
grovelling in the snow, we got a pretty fair shot at the 
master-stag. We both fired, but were so shaken by our 
exertion that we missed him clean. However, he took no 
notice whatever, beyond looking round inquiringly, and 
we had time to load again and fire : this time more 
successfully, for he wheeled at the shot, and after running 
about 200 yards pitched on his head down a slope into 
a deep drift, and lay there doubled up in the snow. We 
were not sorry that the chase was ended. When we got 
up with our knives ready to perform the necessary opera- 
tions, our disappointment was keen to find that we had 
greatly overrated the size of his head. The peculiar 
condition of the atmosphere had deceived us, and we 
found, to our disgust, that the antlers which had appeared 
huge in the morning mist, and as viewed from a distance 
against the white background of the snow, dwindled 
and diminished most scandalously on close inspection, 

N 2 



168 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

becoming smaller and smaller as we approached. They 
proved on exammation to be much inferior to those of the 
stag we had killed on the preceding day. However, it 
was by no means a bad head, so we cut it off, stuck it up 
in a conspicuous place, and left it ' to be called for 
another time.' 

During the last two days the weather had turned very 
coarse and disagreeable ; snow fell in considerable quan- 
tities, and melted almost immediately everywhere except 
on the tops. It rained, too, very heavily at times, and 
our light mosquito bars afforded but a poor shelter from 
the elements. The bottom of the valley was completely 
flooded ; streams of muddy water descended the hills from 
all sides ; the ground was wet and sloppy, and, when 
it was neither raining nor snowing, a thick fog alter- 
nating with Scotch mist and drizzle enveloped all the 
lower portions of the vale. The outlook was very far 
from cheerful, and our eyes turned somewhat wistfully 
towards the comforts of the permanent camp below. 
But we had to wait somewhere for Wynne : game seemed 
tolerably abundant in the valley ; and, hoping constantly 
for a change of weather, we, on the next day, moved 
our little camp right up the head of it to try for mountain 
sheep. We made a pretty good camp, among the stunted 
and rapidly expiring fragments of the forest ; but the 
damp cold was very trying, much more disagreeable than 
the dry severe cold of winter. 

That same afternoon Boteler and I ascended the moun- 
tains forming the rim of the basin, which, as I have pre- 
viously stated, encircles the upper end of the valley, and 
after a very fatiguing tramp discovered a band of sheep 
feeding in a little open glade about half way down the 
other side of the ridge. We made a scientific stalk upon 
the only two good-sized rams among the band, but we were 



UP, OVER, AND DOWN THE RIDGE. 169 

in too great a hurry and made a mess of it. The ewes 
got our wind or heard us — I maintain that it was entirely 
Boteler's fault — and before we could say 'knife,' or 
much more get a shot, the whole herd were scampering 
up the mountains at a pace marvellous to see. How they 
did make the stones rattle down as they bounded from 
crag to crag ! They would gallop for four or five hundred 
yards, then suddenly stop on some projecting point to 
look back, and off again as hard as they could go. 

In about ten minutes they gained the summit, an 
undertaking that took us two hours' hard walking to 
accomplish. There they all gathered together and stood 
still for several minutes, clear against the sky line, the 
big horns of the rams appearing most provokingly large, 
looking back to see what had disturbed them ; and then 
having made up their minds that, as far as we were 
concerned, ' distance lent enchantment to the view,' they 
fell into single file, galloped for several miles along the 
crest, and finally disappeared over the other side. So 
Boteler and I, our hearts full of mutual recriminations, 
but with no other burden, had to climb up, over, and 
down the ridge, and struggle back to the camp through 
the melting snow and the greasy, slippery, treacherous 
clay. The walking was both unpleasant and dangerous. 

All day long the sky had been very lowering, bending 
as it were under the weight of vapour, and about sunset 
the accumulated masses of cloud sank down, enveloped 
all the hill-side, and broke. During the night about 
twelve inches of snow fell. 

The following morning Jack, Boteler, and I went out 
to try our luck, and speedily found some sheep feeding 
on the ends of the long dry tufts of grass that protruded 
through the snow. They were all ewes, but, as we wanted 
fresh meat very badly, we were not proud, and determined 



170 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

to try and get one of them. It was necessary to make a 
very long round to get down wind of them, and unfor- 
tunately, while doing so, we exposed ourselves to the view 
of a magnificent band of old rams fourteen in number, some 
of them carrying splendid heads. It was unlucky ; but 
we had no just cause to blame ourselves. We could not 
see the rams from where we started, because, like the 
Spanish fleet, they were not in sight ; there was little 
shelter to be got ; we were obhged to make a long 
detour through the snow, and against that white back- 
ground our bodies appeared very black and distinct. But 
it was nevertheless most annoying to see our supper 
tearing up the hill-side, and our prospective trophies 
' putting out ' at their best pace for the most inaccessible 
part of the mountains. 

The sheep ran in two bands until about midway up 
the hill-side, and then all joining together proceeded 
to walk so leisurely that we thought it worth while to 
pursue them, particularly as they were going straight up 
wind. Patiently we followed their trail all day over the 
most infernal ground. The mountain was very steep, and 
naturally quite bad enough ; but on this occasion it was 
rendered unusually dangerous by the loose wet snow 
which covered the smooth surfaces of rock, and filled up 
all the interstices between the broken fi-agments of cliff, 
hiding the untrustworthy places, deceiving the foot and 
eye, glossing over little chasms, giving a false appear- 
ance of stability to tottering stones, and converting a 
difiicult but feasible hill-side into a most dangerous and 
well-nigh impracticable slope. 

We crawled along one behind the other, forming when 
necessary a chain with our guns, the leading man taking 
every advantage of the stunted pines and jutting crags of 
rock, and making each foothold good and secure before 



LABORIOUS SPORT. 17i 

venturing on another. If he faltered or slipped, the next 
man held him up— very httle support is sufficient to 
restore the balance — and he tried again until he got his 
foot on to some little ledge, or jammed into some crevice 
that would support his weight, and the others then 
followed, treading carefully in his footsteps. Thus we 
toiled on painfully and slowly, om- feet (which were pro- 
tected only by wet and flabby moccasins) pinched and sore 
with being jammed in between loose stones ; om- bones 
aching from repeated falls ; wet to the skin with the thick 
drizzle, half rain and half snow ; until tired and in very bad 
temper we were obliged to abandon the pursuit, and 
descending to the creek followed it up to camp. 

The next day I awoke tolerably refreshed, though very 
stiff and sore about the legs, and, by way of variety, went 
out all by myself, and hunted over and across the Divide, 
and down the plain on the other side nearly up to the 
West Madison Eiver. It was a fine day for a wonder, and 
the sun, bright and warm, shone beautifully through the 
dripping foliage, diffusing a most grateful glow through 
my acliing limbs, and reviving my drooping spirits. The 
country about there is very pretty, and at some seasons of 
the year must be full of game, for the httle prairies and 
woodland glades, the slopes of the foot-hills, and the bare 
ridges jutting out from the mountains hke promontories 
into a sea of forest, were covered and intersected in all 
dh-ections with the paths and trails of mountain buffalo, 
wapiti, and deer. The signs of bear also were very 
numerous. 

Near the foot of the mountains are two picturesque 
little lakes ; and several streams — confluents of the West 
Madison— wander sparkling in the sunshine through 
meadows and parks dotted with stately spruce and firs 
or plunge into the dark recesses of the forest. All 



172 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

around rose in endless billows a great surging mass of 
peaks — unnamed, unknown, untrodden — tiresome in their 
lack of distinctive character, all very similar in general 
appearance and shape, with the exception of one very 
remarkable fiat-topped mountain in the distance which 
reared itself above the general level of the range. It is 
said to be quite inaccessible, and this allegation seems 
likely to be true, for the side exposed to my view was 
entirely surrounded by a sheer wall of cliff. 

But, though pretty scenery and fine weather partially 
repaid me for my exertions, I was disappointed at the 
results of my walk ; for, as is very often the case, though 
indications were abundant, they were all old, and not a 
single living thing did I see all day long. I smelt a 
band of sheep, it is true, so distinctly that they could not 
have left the ground very long ; but their trail led over 
some very rocky ground, across which it was impossible 
to follow it ; and, though I searched very diligently, I 
failed to find the quarry. 

Bear signs were so very abundant, and the tracks of 
one or two animals were so fresh, that I looked forward 
with a good deal of anxiety and some trepidation to an 
interview with Bruin ; but it was not to be, and — as usual 
— I returned home with a whole skin, empty hands, a 
loaded rifle, and a clean knife. 

I became so wearied and discontented with this con- 
tinual bad luck that at our council fire that night I for- 
mally abdicated all right to command. It was evident 
that I had made bad medicine, and that no good fortune 
would attend my efibrts ; so I handed full control over to 
Jack, and under his leadership we returned next day to 
our first camp ; and in the evening, acting on his sug- 
gestion, I rode on to our permanent camp below, and 



GORGEOUS SUNSETS. 173 

from there into Boteler's Eanch, to see if there were any 
letters, and to ask for news of Wynne. 

As I rode I had the pleasure of witnessing some very 
pecuhar, thorougrily local, and quite indescribable effects 
of colour. 

The day cleared suddenly for a short time just about 
sundown, and the gorgeous flaunting streamers of bright 
yellow and red that were suddenly shot out across a 
lurid sky were most wonderful to behold. If the vivid 
colours were transferred to canvas with a quarter of their 
real brilliancy, the eye would be distressed by the repre- 
sentation, and the artist accused of gross exaggeration 
and of straining after outrageous effects ; but the critic 
would be mistaken, the fact being that nothing but actual 
eye-proof can reconcile one to the belief that such effects 
could be produced at all, much less produced with har- 
mony, even by Nature herself. 

These stormy American sunsets are starthng, barbaric, 
even savage in their brilhancy of tone, in their profusion 
of colour, in their great streaks of red and broad flashes 
of yellow fire ; starthng, but never repulsive to the senses 
or painful to the eye. For a time the light shone most 
brilliantly all over the Western hemisphere, breaking 
through a confused mass of dazzling purple-edged clouds 
massed against a glowing burnished copper sky, darting 
out bright arrows through the rifts and rents, and striking 
full upon the mountain tops. But not long did this 
glorious effulgence last. The soul of the evening soon 
passed away ; as the sun sank the colours fled ; and the 
now snow-white mass of the Yellowstone range filling 
the centre of the valley, down which I looked as through 
a tube, assumed a most peculiar aspect, caused by the 
reflection of the cloud tints on the snow and the reflection 



174 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

of the snow colour on the sky. The mountains became 
of a ghastly, livid, greenish colour ; and, as the faint rose 
light paled, faded slowly upwards and vanished, it really 
looked as though the life were ebbing away, and the dull 
grey death-hue spreading over the face of a dying man. 

I found that Campbell had killed a couple of ante- 
lopes, and he would no doubt have killed many more, but 
that Maxwell, the black cook, was so fearful of bears and 
Indians that he would not on any condition stay in camp 
alone ; and consequently, as the camp could not be left to 
take care of itself, Campbell was obliged to remain with 
him. Somebody at Denver had persuaded Maxwell that 
Indians had a special aversion to coloured gentlemen, and 
he firmly believed that there was not a red man in 
America but would travel half across the continent to get 
his woolly scalp. If there were no Indians about he was 
in dread of bears, and if there were no bears he made 
shift to be terrified at snakes. The state of his nervous 
system was a great nuisance to us, for there was no use in 
telling him that he must stay in camp. He simply v^ould 
not do it, but would ' fork his pony,' and make for the 
nearest settlement or shanty if left to himself. 

No intelligence of any kind awaited me at Boteler's, 
and early next morning I returned to our camp up the 
valley. 

That night our animals stampeded, and came galloping 
by the tents, tails out, picket-ropes flying, making a tre- 
mendous clatter. We never found out what started them, 
though we examined the ground carefully for signs of 
Indians or other wild beasts. Probably the disturbing 
cause was a mountain lion, or puma, as it should more 
properly be called. It gave us a long day's work to find 
them again, for instead of going down the valley towards 
home, as any sensible beasts would have done, they turned 



'TWAS ON A WINDY NIGHT. 175 

straight up the mountains and made a short cut for Boze- 
man. Late the next evening Boteler discovered them 
miles away in the direction of that town. One of the 
mules we did not get for four days, and we suffered 
much anxiety on his account, for it sometimes happens 
that animals stampeding get hung up by their picket- 
ropes twining and knotting round trees, or the stake to 
which the rope is attached gets jammed in some crevice 
of a rock, and the unfortunate beast, if he has gone over 
hard ground and left no trail, perishes miserably by 
starvation. I need scarcely say that the mule we lost 
was the best of the lot, and we were much afraid that 
such had been his fate ; but, to our no small satisfaction, 
he turned up eventually in good condition at Boteler's 
Kanch. 

We spent two more very uncomfortable days in the 
valley — wet, cold, and badly off for food. One of the 
party became quite ill and unable to work from constant 
cold and exposure ; and indeed the weather was too 
coarse and the state of the ground too treacherous and 
dangerous to allow of any of us hunting with comfort, 
safety, or even a moderate chance of success. 

The last evening was an exceptionally stormy one. 
The rain poured down in torrents ; the wind blew fiercely ; 
and it was with difficulty that we could keep our huge 
camp-fire burning. Great roots of fir trees, and knots 
and logs of pitch pine we heaped on, and made at last a 
regular bonfire of it ; but it was of little service to us, for 
the gusts of wind eddying round the tree-stems drove the 
smoke and ashes in our faces and forced us to fall back 
as we crowded round the flame in a vain attempt to keep 
ourselves warm. There are some people in the world 
who always get the smoke in their faces, even in fine 
weather, on whichever side of the fire they sit, and 



176 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

whichever way the wind blows. Others, again, seem to 
have made some compact or arrangement with the Spirit 
of the Flame, for when they sit down to toast them- 
selves the smoke always curls gracefully in the oppo- 
site direction, or ascends straight up to heaven. It is 
said that, in consequence of the murder of Thomas 
a Becket, ' the Traceys have always the wind in their 
faces ; ' and perhaps it is as a punishment for some former 
sins or crimes, that the smoke pursues some of us with 
such diabolical persistence. But on this occasion we 
were all in the same fix ; equal sinners we appeared to 
be ; and if we wished to be warm we were obliged to 
submit to being fumigated and scorched also. 

The Indians say that white men are fools, and don't 
know how to keep themselves warm — building such fires 
that they cannot get near them. The first assertion 
undoubtedly is frequently true ; and there is much sense, 
I allow, in the whole remark. Your red man kindles a 
few sticks, and crouches over them, covering the little 
flame with his blanket, and by that means conveys to him- 
self, I daresay, more caloric than the white man can do 
by alternately scorching and freezing before the shifting, 
roaring flame of a fire large enough to roast an elephant. 
Yet there is comfort in the appearance of a big bright 
flame, and much may be said for both methods. On 
the evening in question, however, neither big fire nor 
little fire, neither white man's plan nor red man's plan, 
would have availed to keep us shivering wretches warm. 
I shall not very quickly forget that afternoon and night. 
How snug the recollection of it makes me by contrast 
feel as I pile a fresh log on the fire at home, stretch out 
my slippered feet in post-prandial ease, warm my hands 
arid toast my shins at the cheerful blaze, and convey hot 
liquid comfort to the inner man, or as I turn round in 



CAMP INUNDATED, 177 

bed, comfortable, warm and cosy, and listen half asleep 
— only just awake enough to realise how comfortable one 
is — to the driving of the rain and wind, and thank my 
stars that I am not out in it ! Kingsley, Jack, and I had 
been wandering disconsolately about the sloppy valley 
all day long, sitting down violently and unexpectedly 
on the slippery wet grass, our feet flying from under us 
on the smooth rounded surfaces of the fallen tree- 
trunks, dislocating our bones and our tempers by many and 
violent falls. About an hour before dark, and about 100 
yards from camp, we parted from Kingsley, who persevered 
in the pursuit of game with a persistency worthy of better 
results, and returned to our fire. A thick fog was 
rising from the inundated marshy borders of the creek, 
and, gradually rolling up the valley, filled it with dense 
white vapour, rendering obscure and indistinct all 
our well-known landmarks, such as isolated clumps, soH- 
tary trees, bare cliffs, or jutting headlands. We found 
camp easily enough, but the Doctor, who had wandered on 
some distance, came very near being lost. 

When Jack and I got in we found camp in a sorry 
plight, everything soaked through — tents, bedding, and all, 
and our prospects for the night looked anything but 
cheerful ; but by extending the hide of the wapiti stag 
between four trees, and hauling it out taut with ropes, we 
managed to make a tolerable shelter ; and, taking from out 
of our cache some dry birch bark and splinters of fat pine, 
we lit a huge fire, and sat down to make some tea for 
supper. About dusk we heard a shot, and visions of fresh 
venison steaks floated before our eyes. About half an hour 
passed, but no venison and no Kingsley appeared, and 
then we heard another shot, and two or three minutes 
afterwards yet another. 

By this time it was getting quite dark, and we were 



178 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

puzzled to know what Kingsley could be firing at — unless, 
indeed, lie was treed by a bear. After a short interval we 
heard the sound of his rifle again, evidently further off, 
and then it suddenly occurred to us that he was lost and 
making signals. We fired our rifles, and whooped, and 
yelled, and shouted, but all to no purpose. The sound of 
his rifle became fainter and fainter \ — he was going in the 
wrong direction. 

To be left out on such a night might cost a man his 
life, for it would have been hard for even an old expe- 
rienced mountain man to have found material dry enough 
to make a fire ; so Jack and Boteler started out into the 
blackness of the night and the thick fog to look for him, 
leaving me behind to heap logs on the fire, and occasion- 
ally emit a dismal yell to keep them acquainted with the 
whereabouts of camp. 

For some time I could hear the responsive shouts of 
the searchers, but after awhile they ceased, and nothing 
broke the horrid silence except the noises of the night 
and of the storm. 

The heavy raindrops pattered incessantly on the elk-hide ; 
the water trickled and splashed, and gurgled down the hill- 
side in a thousand muddy rills and miniature cascades. The 
night was very dark, but not so black but that I could dimly 
see white ghost-like shreds of vapour and great indis- 
tinct rolling masses of fog driving up the valley in the gale. 
The wind rumbled in the caverns of the cliffs, shrieked and 
whistled shrilly among the dead pine-trees, and fiercely 
shook the frail shelter overhead, dashing the raindrops in 
my face. Every now and then the fire would burn up 
bright, casting a fitful gleam out into the damp darkness, 
and lighting up the bare jaws and white skulls of the two 
elk-heads, which seemed to grin derisively at me out of the 
gloom ; and then, quenched by the hissing rain, it would 



JUPITER PLUVIUS. 179 

sink down into a dull red glow. My dog moved uneasily 
about, now pressing close up against me, shivering with 
cold and fear, nestling up to me for protection, and look- 
ing into my face for that comfort which I had not in me 
to give him — now starting to his feet, whimpering, and 
scared when some great gust smote the pine-tree overhead, 
angrily seized and rattled the elk-hide, and scooping up 
the firebrands tossed them in the air. The tall firs bowed 
like bulrushes before the storm, swaying to and fro, 
bending their lofty heads Hke bows and flinging them up 
again erect, smiting their great boughs together in agony, 
groaning and complaining, yet fiercely fighting with the 
tempest. At intervals, when the gale paused for a 
moment as it were to gather strength, its shrill shrieking 
subdued to a dismal groan, there was occasionally heard 
with startling distinctness, through the continuous distant 
din and clamour of the night, a long, painfully-rending 
cr-r-r-rash, followed by a dull heavy thud, notifying the 
fall of some monarch of the woods, and making my heart 
quake within me as I uneasily glanced at the two tall 
hemlocks overhead that wrathfully ground their trunks 
together, and whose creaking limbs were wrestling man- 
fully with the storm. Strange and indistinct noises would 
come up from the vale : rocks became detached, and 
thundered down the far-off crags ; a sudden burst of 
wind would bear upon me the roar of the torrent below 
with such clearness that it sounded as though it were close 
at hand. It v/as an awful night, in the strictest sense of 
the word. The Demon of the Tempest was abroad iu 
his anger, yelling down the valley, dashing out the water- 
floods with his hands, laying waste the forest, and filling 
with dread the hearts of man and beast and every living 
thing. 

There was not a star or a gleam of moonlight. It was 



180 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

very gruesome sitting there all alone, and I began to feel, 
like David, 'horribly afraid.' I do not know how long I 
was alone ; probably it was only for a short time — a 
couple of hours or so, at most — but the minutes were as 
hours to me. Most dismal was my condition ; and I 
could not even resort to the Dutch expedient for import- 
ing courage, to supply my natural allowance of that 
quality which had quickly oozed out of my cold finger- 
tips. I had poured into a tin pannikin the last drain of 
whisky from the keg, and had placed it carefully to settle. 
I knew that Kingsley would really want it, so I could not 
seek consolation in that way. I could not find even a 
piece of dry tobacco wherewith to comfort myself; I 
began to feel very wretched indeed ; and it was truly a 
great relief when I heard the shouts of the returning 
party. 

They brought in the lost man pretty well exhausted, 
for he had been out a long time exposed to the weather, 
had walked a great distance, and had fallen about terribly 
in the darkness. He had tried in vain to make a fire, and 
was wandering about without an idea of the direction in 
which camp lay. He was indeed in real need of a stimulant, 
and when, in answer to his inquiring glance at the keg, I 
said that there was half a pannikin full, his face beamed 
with a cheerful smile. But alas ! a catastrophe had 
occurred. A gust of wind or a falling branch had over- 
thrown all my arrangements, and when I arose to give 
him the pannikin, behold, it was bottom upwards and 
dry! 

If it be true that ' the effectual fervent prayer of a 
righteous man availeth much,' I suppose that it must be 
equally true that the effectual fervent swear of a despair- 
ing mortal will penetrate far. If so, I know that a 
responsive echo must have been awakened somewhere by 



A WOFUL BALLAD. 181 

the vehemence of the monosyllable that greeted this 
discovery. 

So we had to make the best of matters, and put up 
with hot, strong, green tea, which consoled us a little; 
but we spent a very uncomfortable night, sitting by the 
fire as long as we could keep our eyes open — four unhappy 
human beings in their wet shirt-tails and damp blankets, 
trying to dry their socks, underclothes, and trousers, and 
to get a httle warmth into their chilled limbs. 

It was on this occasion that the following verses 
were, with many throes, produced by a short-sighted 
member of the party, and dolefully sung to the tune of 
' Ten thousand miles away ' : — 

I am wet, and cold, and hungry, and there's nothing here to eat : 
Take up your gun, for goodness sake, and bring in some fresh meat ; 
Oh ! I'm hungry and I'm thirsty, I'm very cold and wet ; 
Take up your gun or rifle, and get up, Sir, and get.^ 

Kill a cabre or an antelope, a rocky mountain sheep, 
A wapiti or bounding elk, the meat to dry and keep ; 
A white-tail or a black-tail, a partridge or a hare, 
Or a squirrel or a gopher, or a badger or a bear. 

It snows, it blows, and rains, and then begins to freeze ; 
All sodden is the ground, and all dripping are the trees 
The hill-tops are all shrouded in impenetrable fog, 
The creeks they are all flooded, and the valley is a bog. 

I have wet breeches on my legs, a wet shirt on my back, 
I've lost my hat and spectacles, and busted my shupack ; ^ 
The horses have stampeded, the mules are gone astray. 
My own dog snarled and bit me, and then he ran away. 

My tent is full of holes, and my bedding it is damp ; 

The ground is quite a puddle, it's a miserable camp ; 

The fires won't burn, but are betwixt and likewise are between, 

Half flame, half smoke are they, for the wood is much too green. 



^ To get up and get signifies, in Western parlance, to set off about your 
business without delay. 

"^ Shu^Kick, a stout moccasin made of cowhide. 




182 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

Our tea is now expended, the salt is left behind ; 
The sugar's a dissolving view, but that I do not mind ; 
And the cook has burned the coiFee, unmitigated scamp, 
And the whisky keg is dry too — it's the driest thing in camp. 

I could not find a match when I thought to take a smoke, 
And when I got my pipe, behold it was broke ; 
My knife was very blunt, and we'd lost the whetstone, 
Yet, in cutting some tobacco, cut my finger to the bone. 

I wandered down the valley and slipped upon the ice, 
I tried to climb the mountain, but fell down a precipice ; 
The ground it was so slippery, I could not stand or walk, 
And my gun missed fire at the end of the stalk. 

I cannot find a mountain sheep, I cannot find a bear, 

Or a deer, or a gopher, or a badger, or a hare ; 

Corn bread and trout oiu* diet still must be, 

With no pepper, sugar, salt, and no whisky and no tea. 

Oh, Montana, it is beautiful ! the Yellowstone is fine. 
Game it is abundant, leastways the sign ; 
But when living in the wilderness, and dwelling in a tent. 
On its climate and its weather I don't pan out^ a cent. 



The next morning we four unhappy individuals, 
stifF-jointed and rheumatic, blear-eyed, unshaven, dirty 
and unkempt, assembled round the fire, and without much 
discussion arrived at the conclusion that this sort of thing 
was all very well for a picnic party, but that a little 
went a long way, and that we had enjoyed quite enough 
of it. The ' (jrreenwood Tree,' we thought, sounded 
nice, but a warm dry tent appeared to us to be the right 



^ To ' pan out ' is a most eloquent expressian derived from the vocabulary 
of gulch mining or gold washing. The quantity of gold dust remaining at 
the bottom of the pan or shovel is what you 'pan out' of the particular 
stream ; and so the value you get out of an individual, occupation or thing 
is what you ' pan out ' of it. To say that a man ' pans out badly ' or ' does 
not pan out a cent' implies that, having sifted him thoroughly and with 
the greatest care, you find there is no residue of sterling metal in him at all ; 
nothing but valueless dirt. 



A CHANGE OF QUARTERS. 



183 



sort of place in a September storm ; and so, soon after 
daybreak, we packed up, left our elk-heads where they 
were, and moved down to permanent camp. 




MEXICAN SADDLE. 



2 



184 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 



CHAPTEE V. 

THE HOT SPRINGS ON GAEDINER's RIVER. 

We arrived early and lay in camp all day, weathering out 
as best we could the fearful storm that still continued. 
At night one of the tents blew down, nearly frightening 
Tweed into fits. Jack and I tried with all the calmness 
of desperation to think that the wet clammy folds of the 
canvas were rather pleasant and warm, but we could not 
keep up the delusion, and had to drag ourselves out, and 
in the face of the wind and rain set up the tent again. 
It is intolerable to have one's tent blown down on a 
drenching night, as I am sure will be allowed by any one 
who has had experience of that calamity ; and it put the 
finishing touch to our misery. But, as often happens, 
matters began to mend soon after they were at their 
worst. 

Towards morning a few stars began to peep through 
long ragged rifts in the clouds, and the day broke finer 
than it had done for weeks. The dawn revealed de- 
tached masses of vapour driven in by the fierce rays of 
the attacking sun, like outlying pickets of the storm, 
rolling up the wet shining sides of the mountains, and 
concentrating their forces in ominous columns about the 
higher peaks. As the light grew brighter, the leaden sky 
broke up, showing two or three patches of blue ; and, 



CINNABAR MOUNTAIN. 185 

as the sun rose higher, the fog melted and, curhng up 
from the low grounds, floated round the summits of the 
range. The clouds, losing their torn, tormented appear- 
ance, became softer and more rounded in outline. Every- 
thing betokened fair weather ; and in somewhat better 
spirits we broke camp, and marched that day to the 
Mammoth Hot Springs on Gardiner's Eiver. 

The road passes through the second canon, which, as 
I have before stated, has been cut by the river through 
metamorphic rock, and, after traversing two or three 
miles over rough broken spurs of the foot-hills, descends 
and pursues a level course along what may be termed 
the second valley of the Yellowstone till it reaches the 
mouth of Gardiner's Eiver. Here the Yellowstone takes 
a sudden turn to the east, entering a great gorge in the 
mountains which forms the third canon; and the trail 
turning to the west follows the direction of Gardiner's 
Eiver, and does not again strike the waters of the 
Yellowstone until just before its entrance into the Grand 
caiion. 

We saw nothing very worthy of notice on this day's 
march, the most important object being ' Cinnabar 
Mountain,' apparently so called because there is no cin- 
nabar there. A very peculiar broad band of red clay that 
traverses the mountain was at one time thought to be 
composed of that mineral, and to this circumstance I sup- 
pose it owes its name. It is a line ridge of about a mile 
in length, rising some 2,000 feet above the river, but is 
remarkable only on account of the rich colour of these 
clay bands, and for two very noticeable trap dykes which 
traverse it from top to bottom. Of these the one furthest 
to the north is composed of greyish-coloured quartz, while 
the other is of greenish trachyte or basalt. These walls 
are in some places 200 feet high, and about 50 feet in 



186 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

thickness. The space between them is about 150 feet 
broad at the top, and tolerably smooth throughout ; but 
the sides slightly diverge, and the slide would be about 
double that width at the bottom. This is locally called 
the Devil's Slide. 

Before proceeding any further, I should like to clear 
the ground a little, and try to convey to the reader in a 
few words a sort of general notion of the geography and 
geology of that portion of the Eocky Mountains with 
which we have to deal. It must be essentially a vague 
impression, for I am neither a geographer nor a geologist ; 
and the country is so vast, so little known and understood, 
and has been up to the present time so poorly mapped, 
that it is impossible even for one who has visited it not 
to feel somewhat 'mixed' on the subject. But I will 
endeavour to make myself clear. 

I will therefore try briefly to sketch out a sort of 
skeleton of this part of the continent, showing the prin- 
cipal mountain ranges and river systems, and merely 
indicating the great depressions, valleys, and plains. In 
taking a mental survey of the Western portions of the 
United States, the first operation is to disabuse one's 
mind of the notion that the words ' Eocky Mountains ' 
are used to designate any particular chain. I know of 
no belt, on the continent, so called by the natives. An 
inhabitant of Denver speaks of the great barrier that 
raises itself above the Colorado prairies as ' the Eange ' or 
' the Snowy Eange ' ; while in Wyoming your inquiry 
as to the Eocky Mountains would be answered by point- 
ing to the great bulk of Laramie Peak and the lesser 
summits of the Black Hills. The name ' Eocky Moun- 
tains,' then, is applicable, though it is not applied, to 
numerous ranges having various local names ; and it 
indicates generally all that vast and broad upheaval 



PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. 187 

which traverses tlie entire lengtli of the continent from 
north to south. 

The Eocky Mountains, if they be measured from their 
eastern flank in Colorado to the western slopes of the 
Sierra Nevada in California, would be found to occupy an 
area of about 700 miles in breadth. In some places they 
contract to about half that width, and they extend the 
whole length of the continent, but by no means con- 
tinuously. On the contrary, like waves of the sea, which, 
though they appear to be very persistent, yet are in reality 
constantly subsiding and fresh ones arising in their place,, 
the mountain ranges which we are about to examine 
continually sink into the plain, being succeeded by other 
belts, distinct, but having the same trend, direction, and 
characteristics. 

But we shall not need to take such a greatly extended 
view. It will answ^er our purpose better to glance over 
the country lying between the northern borders of New 
Mexico and the boundary line dividing the British pos- 
sessions from the United States, and between the easteri; 
flanks of the range in Colorado and the Wahsatch Moun- 
tains to the west. 

This great elevated portion of the globe which divides 
the solid ocean of the eastern prairies from the hquid 
plains of the Pacific, and which longitudinally splits the 
continent in two, contains on a great scale three distinct 
features in physical geography — high plains or prairies, 
depressed basins, and river valleys. The plains and de- 
pressions seem to occur promiscuously, without method 
or order ; but the valleys are arranged systematically and 
according to law. If small, they have a direction nearly 
north and south ; and, if large, a general tendency to run 
east and west. The reason of this is obvious. The 
ranges all trend more or less due north and south, but 



188 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

the waters they contain must find an outlet somewhere 
at right angles to this direction. The smaller streams 
therefore are compelled to follow the course of the 
mountains, gradually converging until they gather suffi 
cient strength to burst through the barriers and carve an 
outlet towards either sea. Hence it follows that, while 
the great watersheds strike north and south, all the 
smaller divides have their longer axes lying east and 
west. 

The prairie gradually rises from the Missouri Eiver, 
where it is less than 1,000 feet above the sea, till it attains, 
where it abuts upon the Colorado range, a height of from 
about 5,000 to 6,000 feet above the sea-level. Buried to 
their middles in this deep deposit the mountains stand, 
heaving out their broad shoulders and thrusting up their 
heads to an additional height of some 6,000 or 8,000 
feet : forming a barrier that from a distance looks im- 
passable ; but it is not so, for in some places the prairie 
billow^ has overlapped the range, and flowing completely 
over depressed portions of it, has poured itself down the 
other side in an unbroken wave. 

The principal plateaus are the flat country lying near 
the head of the Missouri, between the Marias and Milk 
Elvers ; Laramie Plains and North Park, taken together, as 
one plateau ; Middle, South, and St. Louis Parks, and the 
upper valley of the Arkansas. 

The depressions are the great basin of Salt Lake and 
the Colorado Desert. 

Among the river systems may be mentioned the val- 
leys of the Upper Missouri, of the Yellowstone, the Green 
Snake, Bear, and Grand Eivers. 

To speak in very general terms, the summits of the 
mountains are granite or limestone, usually the former, 
protruding through sandstones which are overlaid with 



THE PROCESSES OF NATURE. 189 

drift. In some places the sandstones are tilted completely 
on their edges, and, running in long lines across the foot- 
hills or breaking in detached masses through the super- 
incumbent drift, are very noticeable on account of their 
bright colouring, which vividly contrasts with the dark- 
green foliage of the stunted oaks. 

Perhaps the most remarkable feature, geologically, is 
the vast extent of the drift formation. 

After that the region I am speaking of had been 
through infinite ages formed in the depths of ocean and 
upheaved, and after that the cycles during which tropical 
forests flourished, died, decayed, and formed the coal- 
measures, had unrolled their interminable length, it must 
have passed through a long geological period submerged, if 
not entirely, at any rate with the exception onty of the 
highest peaks. During this period Nature was fearfully 
convulsed. Volcanoes blazed and smoked, casting out 
the molten entrails of the earth, pouring floods of lava 
into the hissing evaporating seas, levelling the hollows of 
the ocean-beds, smothering the inequalities in the lake 
floors, and filling up the valleys with a soft covering of 
sifting ashes. 

Evaporated from the higher mountain masses, the 
waters during this fiery epoch must have subsided and 
grouped themselves into more modern seas. The present 
great watersheds and the principal geographical features 
must then have been roughly hewn out while the land 
was all covered with ice, rending and tearing slowly but 
irresistibly down the valleys and grinding up the surface 
of the rocks. Great boulders, large deposits of drift, 
gravel and marls, vast accumulations of fine sand, clay, 
and loess — the result of all this grinding and disintegra- 
tion — must have been left stranded near the summits, 
cast in huge heaps by the mighty hands of swirling ocean 



190 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

currents on the slopes of the mountains, spread out over 
the bases and flanks of the hills by the rushing floods of 
mountain torrents, and sprinkled gently through the 
quiet depths of placid lakes. 

At 10,000 or 12,000 feet above the sea large boulders 
may now be seen, and the mountain-sides and foot-hills 
are covered with drift becoming smaller as you descend. 
The further you go from the mountains the finer becomes 
the deposit. It may be said that the greater portion of 
the country from the Missouri to the Eockies is composed 
of this drift. Occasionally large tracts of fine gravel and 
coarse sand will be met with in isolated places, as if these 
heavy materials had been swept far out into the ocean by 
the current of a great river, and precipitated at some 
bend or eddy. All the plains and parks in the mountains 
are made of it, and it covers the greater portion of 
Minnesota, Dakotah, and the prairies, ' bad lands,' and 
deserts of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. The cele- 
brated plateau of the Coteau du Prairie is a huge 
gravel ridge. In Nebraska occurs an extensive deposit 
of fine sand, in which are found the remains of multi- 
tudes of extinct animals ; and the unstratified clays or 
loess extend to the lower Missouri, possibly even to the 
Gulf. 

The district under consideration is contained in the 
State of Colorado and the territories of Utah, Wyoming, 
and Montana, and is approximately bounded by the l05th 
and 113th meridians on the east and west, and to the 
north and south by the 37th and 49th parallels. 

The Great or Salt Lake Basin is only partially situated 
within these limits. It is a vast hollow contained by the 
Wahsatch, the Sierra Nevada, and their offshoots. Its 
waters have no outlet whatever, and have been and pro- 
bably still are receding, owning to the great excess of 



PICTURESQUE COLORADO. 191 

evaporation over condensation. It is remarkable that the 
points of greatest depression are placed, not in the centre, 
but near the edges. The Colorado Desert forming the 
upper portion of the Green Eiver system ought, perhaps, 
not to be called a ' basin,' for it is drained by Green 
Eiver, which bursts through the Sierra Escalante, an 
eastern arm of the Uintah range. The greater portion of 
it is a broad, irregular, treeless depression, bounded to the 
north and south by the Wind Eiver and the Uintah 
Mountains, to the east by an imperceptible divide, and to 
the west by the Wahsatch. The valley of the Upper 
Arkansas partakes so thoroughly of the character of a 
park that it should be placed in that category. If it be 
possible to assign any definite limits to a district when its 
borders are broken, detached, and fragmentary, I should 
say it was bounded by the Wet Mountains, which are 
merely a continuation of the main range extending south 
of Pike's Peak, and by the Sangre de Christo and Eaton 
Mountains. 

Laramie Plains are girdled to the north and east by 
the black hills of Wyoming, which almost unite with the 
Colorado range, leaving, however, a broad sloping gap 
through which the Union Pacific Eailway passes. These 
plains form a sort of elevated eastern bay of the great 
Green Eiver Basin, and they cannot be said to be 
actually divided from the North Park. 

The North, Middle, South, and St. Louis Parks are 
the four largest among numberless level depressions or 
basins which lie nestled among the mountains, and by 
their singular beauty make Colorado the most pic- 
turesque State of the Union. They are properly de- 
scribed as ' Parks,' for I know of no other word that so 
well conveys an idea of their peculiar beauty and charac- 
teristics. 



192 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

Of all sizes, from a few acres to many hundreds of 
square miles in extent, they lie, fertile, clothed with grass, 
decked with flowers, sparkling with silver streams, lovely 
oases amid the savage barrenness of the mountains. They 
are not only beautiful but useful, and answer a very wise 
purpose in the economy of Nature, for, acting like huge 
reservoirs, they collect the thousand rills that steal out 
from under the everlasting snows, and uniting them in 
one perennial stream launch it out into the world to 
bear fertility to the arid plains below. 

These four principal parks are entirely cut off from 
each other by lofty ranges. 

This great district is partially bisected by Green Eiver, 
and Nature has also divided it into quarters. Traversing it 
longitudinally, runs the Great Divide of the continent, that 
sheds the waters either to the Pacific or to the Atlantic. 
As might be expected, it follows generally the main range 
and has a north-west and south-east direction, but occa- 
sionally it leaves the mountains, and its course, curving 
and bending to the east or west, is determined by an 
almost imperceptible ridge. Cutting this divide nearly at 
right angles runs a transverse ' height of land,' scarcely 
noticeable above the general level, which, starting from 
the north-west corner of Nebraska, curves northward 
round the Green Eiver Basin, and enters the south-west 
angle of Nevada. Thus four minor watersheds are formed, 
sloping to the north-east, south-east, south-west, and 
north-west ; the two former discharging their waters into 
the Atlantic through the Missouri and its confluent the 
Platte, while the Columbia and Colorado carry the drain- 
age of the latter to the Pacific. 

The principal mountain chains are, first and most im- 
portant, the Wahsatch range on the west, which for about 
400 miles forms the rim of the Salt Lake Basin. With 



VARIOUS NOMENCLATURE. 193 

several breaks and flexures this range continues north- 
ward under the names of the Wind Eiver Mountains, the 
Tetons, Salmon Eiver, Big Hole, Bitter Eoot, and Flat 
Head Mountains. East of these chains, and in about the 
same latitude, rise those detached belts that divide the 
head waters of the Missouri, namely, the Jefferson, 
Madison, and Gallatin rivers, from each other and from 
the Yellowstone. These belts connect with the Big 
Horn Mountains, which, continuing south with many- 
breaks of continuity, join the Black Hills ; and these last 
strike out towards and almost touch the main range in 
Colorado. 

By the belts above enumerated this region is girt 
about, and the contained area is, with the exception of the 
plains, valleys, parks, and basins already mentioned, a 
great confused mass of mountains and peaks. The 
northern half is filled up by the Yellowstone, Gallatin, and 
Jefferson Mountains ; by the Tetons, the Wind Eiver, Big 
Horn, Eattlesnake, Sweetwater, Medicin Bow ranges, and 
other spurs and offshoots. The elevations are lower, and 
the country in general more open than in the southern 
division, where occurs the most densely packed and 
heaviest mass of mountains in the United States. A little 
south of the lateral divide, the Uintah range, a great 
offset from the Wahsatch, strikes out due east or at right 
angles to the trend of the parent chain. Its eastern ex- 
tremity goes by the name of the Sierra Escalante, and 
between this extremity and the Uintahs, Green Eiver finds 
a channel. Near the southern limits of the territory in 
question the Eaton Mountains, giving birth to the Cimaron 
and Purgatory Eivers, are stretched out towards the 
east like an arm from the main range. Between these 
two principal chains are crowded and pressed together 
a vast multitude of independent belts and spurs. Their 



194 THE GREAT DIVIDE, 

general direction is north and south, but occasional off- 
shoots strike out at various angles from this line. 

The nomenclature of these various chains is derived 
from a mixture of many languages. In the south the 
melodious Spanish or Indian names have been retained, 
and we find the Sierra San Miguel, Sierra de los Pinos, 
Uncompagre Mountains, Sierra San Juan, and the like. 
Further north the less tuneful Anglo-Saxon tongue pre- 
vails, and the chains and peaks either are unnamed, or 
are called the range, the snowy range, the divide, or 
somebody or other's peak. 

If the rivers rising in this region be followed up in the 
map, it will be seen at once that the sources are grouped 
into three principal centres, points of division, or water- 
sheds ; one situated in the north-eastern quarter, the other 
two in the south-eastern. The most southern and least 
important centre is just south-west of the South Park in 
Colorado. From it radiate several streams, the chief 
among which are the Eio Grande, the Grand, the 
Arkansas, and the South Platte. In the chain forming 
the barrier between North and Middle Parks lies the 
second apex, a very important watershed, inferior to only 
one, or at any rate two, on the continent. Around it are 
the sources of the Blue Eiver, White Eiver, Bear Eiver, 
the North Platte, and several branches of the South 
Platte. 

But the culminating point of the whole system — the 
Great Divide of the United States, the nucleus of the con- 
tinent — lies in the north-eastern quarter, in the girdle that 
encircles the district containing the Geyser Basins and the 
Yellowstone Lake. I have previously enumerated the 
rivers that have their sources there, and hope a httle 
further on to revert to them ; there is no occasion to 
mention them now. 



MOUNTAIN RANGES. 195 

Having thus in a very few words endeavoured to 
portray the general features of this portion of the Eocky 
Mountains, and to dispel the mists of ignorance which, 
because in my own mind they shrouded the peaks of that 
mysterious range, I (probably erroneously) consider must 
also exist in the minds of others, I will ask my readers 
to turn their attention more particularly to the north- 
eastern section of the region I have attempted to describe, 
for to that quarter our wanderings will for the future be 
confined. 

Let us take, as an eastern anticlinal line, a continua- 
tion of the Big Horn Mountains, running north and south, 
forming the divide between the Yellowstone and the 
Gallatin, crossing the former river at the lower canon, 
and extending as far as the ' Gate of the Mountains ' just 
below the Grand Falls of the Missouri. This is the Yellow- 
stone range, and its summits are composed principally of 
limestone. 

Although detached mountains and chains occur on 
both sides of the Yellowstone Eiver as far as below Tongue 
Eiver, yet it may be said, speaking in general terms, that 
the cretaceous and tertiary deposits of the plains reach 
clear up to the eastern flank of this chain. Whether a 
true western anticlinal exists I do not know. I should 
look for it in the Big Hole and other mountains west of 
the Madison extensions of the Wind Eiver and Teton 
Eauge. The synchnal of this valley would run in a south- 
east direction from the ' Gate of the Mountains,' through 
the place of meeting of the three forks of the Missouri, 
between the West Gallatin and Madison, and through the 
comparatively level depression containing the Yellowstone 
lake and the basins and valleys of the three forks, and 
extending indefinitely towards the south. 

The principal secondary chains embraced in this area 



196 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

with whic'.h we have to deal are the Madison and West 
Gallatin Mountains, and the range on the west of Yellow- 
stone Eiver. These have a tendency to spread out 
towards the south, and converge towards the junction of 
the three forks. Through all these belts torrents have 
cut deep gorges at right angles to their axis of upheaval, 
exposing fine vertical sections of the material composing 
them. 

The Yellowstone and Gallatin Mountains, which are 
part of one and the same range, show, as before mentioned, 
a good deal of sedimentary rock. Peaks of very hard 
limestone tower from 1,000 to 1,500 feet above the silurian 
deposits, which rest upon quartz, mica-schists, and gneiss. 
The variety in texture, form, and colour of the meta- 
morphosed rocks is infinite. The West Gallatin Moun- 
tains, and those on the west bank of the Yellowstone, are 
largely composed of conglomerates and breccia, and the 
peaks are of volcanic origin. These ranges, as also that 
of the Madison, sink down towards their point of union 
at the three forks, and in that vicinity are largely made 
up of lake deposits and silurian shales. As you ascend 
the rivers the metamorphic rocks and carboniferous lime- 
stones become frequent. No doubt all these valleys have 
been scooped by the action of the water and weather out 
of originally homogeneous masses, for the signs of erosion 
and the effects of ice are universal ; and there is abundant 
evidence that the entire country must have been under 
water, and subjected to the action of icebergs and glaciers 
for a very long period of time. Cretaceous and calca- 
reous strata of considerable thickness are overlaid by vast 
deposits of clays, and every variety of tertiary formation ; 
and the ranges are everywhere begirt with a fringe of 
foot-hills formed of drift, varying in size from large 
boulders to fine gravel. 



i 



GARDINERS RIVER. 197 

Through all this region volcanic action has been ex- 
ceedingly vigorous. The effect of fire upon the rocks is 
plainly visible and widely spread. All the stratified rocks, 
clays, and slates have been burned, baked, and changed 
into various forms and substances. Whole mountains of 
volcanic breccia exist. Inequalities of the surface have 
been smothered and covered under many hundred feet 
of ashes. Trachyte protrusions are numerous ; trap dykes 
are common ; and several great overflows of basalt have at 
different times occurred. 

The last feeble evidence of this gigantic force, the 
expiring effort of the power that once shook the round 
world to its very foundations, is to be seen in the hot 
springs on Gardiner's Eiver and on many other streams, 
and in the strange phenomena of the Geyser Basins, to 
which we will now proceed. 

Gardiner's Eiver heads in three forks among some 
bold basaltic peaks. At the sources of the western 
branch is situated — at least, so it is said— a remarkable 
group of springs. Below the forks the river has a course 
of about twenty miles through a formation generally com- 
posed of calcareous and tertiary strata, which it has cut 
through and exposed to a depth of 1,200 feet. From these 
beds the vast quantities of lime deposited by the hot springs 
have, I presume, been derived. In these cretaceous strata 
occur occasionally intruding outflows of basalt. The 
lower portion of the valley is covered and httered with 
volcanic debris, lying on and mixed with the clays, and 
the surface resembles the slag-heaps round old furnaces 
and smelting works. In two or three places occur small 
deep ponds, looking like old volcanic craters, filled now 
to the brim with water. 

Over this dismal country the road passes for about 
p 



198 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

three miles with a gradual ascent ; and, after traversing 
a small level grass -covered plateau, it descends suddenly 
by a steep pitch, crosses a small, perfectly level, and 
snow-white plain, and lands you at the door of the little 
shanty which is dignified by the name of hotel. This 
plateau is about 1,000 feet above Gardiner's Eiver. 

Standing outside the hotel door, and facing the river, 
the traveller will see before him this white plain, abutting 
on the left upon the grassy slopes of the hills, bordering to 
the right on a remarkable mound of about 200 feet in 
height, composed entirely of calcareous deposit from the 
springs. On the plateau are the remains of two geysers, 
one of which must have been rather small, as the cone 
remaining is only three or four feet in height. It is called, 
from its appearance, ' The Bee Hive.' The other certainly 
was once gigantic, for it has left a cone about fifty feet 
high, by twenty in diameter at the base. Professor Hayden 
calls this the Liberty Cap ; locally it goes by another 
name. On the right edge of the plain are several springs 
of water of various temperatures, which have been arti- 
ficially conducted into three rude huts answering the 
purpose of bathing-houses. They are neither elegant 
nor luxurious, consisting only of a few rough boards 
temporarily nailed together. The water flows into deep 
wooden troughs formed of rough deals, which the deposit 
from the water has covered with a white enamel, per- 
fectly smooth and pleasant to the touch, thus converting 
these makeshift troughs into marble basins. The tem- 
perature of the water varies irregularly at difierent times 
throughout the day, which is very annoying, for it is im- 
possible to tell exactly when the water will be warm 
enough and not too warm to bathe in. It retains its 
heat, too, in the most marvellous manner, for I have on 
several occasions, finding the water too hot, plugged up 



THE HERRING POND. ]99 

the orifice by which it flowed into the bath and stopped 
the supply; but after waiting half an hour the water 
in the bath showed no appreciable difference of tem- 
perature. 

The water is not unpleasant to the taste, and the 
bathers who flock to these springs to cure their rheumatic 
affections think it necessary to imbibe great quantities. I 
swallowed a good deal of it myself, but could not notice 
that it had any effect whatever. If it deposits in a man's 
interior as it does in the baths, it would be invaluable for 
supplying a new coating to the worn-out integument of an 
ill-used stomach ; and if only two eminent physicians, one 
on either side of the ' Herring Pond,' would make dis- 
covery of this fact, the fortunes of Montana and Wyoming 
would be for ever made. It is very pleasant to the skin, 
soft and mollifying in its effects ; and, instead of having a 
debilitating tendency, as is usually the case with very 
warm baths, it seems to brace and invigorate the system. 
If the reader will kindly imagine us comfortably 
camped hard by the springs, ourselves in the occupation 
of a deserted shanty, and our horses picketed on a small 
grassy plain not far distant, we will, after breakfast, a 
bath, and two or three tin pannikins of hot water, which 
we must drink because it is fashionable — and we must be 
fashionable even in the wilderness, — ascend the white hill 
of which I have spoken, and take a survey of the country. 
This elevation is about 200 feet high, and is built up in 
steps or successive layers somewhat after the fashion of 
an Egyptian pyramid, only the steps are generally not so 
high, and the intervening ledges are much broader. 
Some of the terraces are many feet in breadth ; others 
are quite small. In some cases they are separated by little 
cliffs of six, eight, or ten feet in height ; in others, again, 
p 2 



200 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

the steps are only an inch or two high. The top is per- 
fectly level, and about 150 yards in diameter ; on it occurs 
the largest hot spring at present in activity. It consists of a 
basin forty feet in length, by twenty-five feet in breadth, 
and contains three centres of ebullition. The water at 
the edge is only 162° ; it is probable, however, that in 
those places where it appears to be boiling and bubbling 
very violently, it would reach boiling-point, which at this 
height is 194°; but the principal cause of the disturbance 
in the water is the quantity of carbonic acid gas that is 
discharged. The water is exceedingly clear, clearer than 
anything I had ever seen before, and of a blue coloiu*, 
marvellously beautiful to see. The smallest fleck of 
cloud floating in the sky is reflected in it, and the most 
minute tracery at the bottom of the pool can be dis- 
tinctly seen. The little waves or undulations, radiating 
from the boiling spring in the centre of the basin, and 
refracting the sun's rays, give a shifting opalesque lustre 
to the rounded beads and nodules that adorn the sides, 
and transform into varied beauty their comparatively 
dull hue. 

From various places in the rim of this basin a mode- 
rate quantity of water flows out over the sides of the hill, 
forming on the steps and terraces a most beautiful series 
of pools, varying in depth from an inch to two or three 
feet. Where the slope is very gentle and the flow of the 
water consequently slow, these basins are minute, and are 
separated from each other by rims of no more than an 
inch or two in height, and the lace-work and bead-work 
ornamentation is most dehcately beautiful, and almost 
microscopically minute. Where the stream has been 
rapid much larger basins have been formed, having 
sides six or eight feet high, over which the water has 
poured, forming fantastic stalactites and stalagmites. It 



SULPHUR CRYSTALS. 201 

looks as if a stream, pouring over some gigantic staircase, 
had been suddenly congealed. Most of the basins are 
oblong in shape, the curves are very graceful, and the 
edges scalloped. The crust, composed of a solid scum of 
deposit, extends over the water, getting gradually thinner 
and thinner, until on the very verge it is scarcely thicker 
than paper; and it is necessary to use caution in approach- 
ing the edge to avoid the penalty of an involuntary plunge 
into hot water which might repay the curiosity of a too 
venturesome observer. The rims are frequently bordered 
with round, pearl-like ornamentation, the pearls varying 
from the size of a pin's-head to that of a hazel-nut. The 
general colour of the bottom and sides of the basins is that 
of rich cream, occasionally deepening into bright sulphur 
yellow, with streaks and patches of vivid red, as bright 
and clear as our brilHant modern mineral dyes ; and yet 
so harmonised and blended together that the general 
effect is by no means harsh or disagreeable. 

The water gradually cools as it falls from terrace to 
terrace, so that the bather can accommodate himself 
to any temperature he pleases. In the cooler pools 
grow quantities of very fragile hair-like vegetation, 
which, becoming encrusted with lime, forms a most 
delicate lace-like fabric, in some cases almost as fine 
as cobweb. 

After falling down the hill the water finds its way 
to Gardiner's Eiver through several channels, the largest 
of which is about six feet broad and two deep. The 
sulphur iron and lime in solution have formed in the bed 
of this stream a most beautiful mosaic-like substance. It 
is full of bright green conferva, which contrast strangely 
but very beautifully with the reds and yellows. The 
lime deposited is, when fresh, perfectly and most dazzlingly 
white; after awhile it gets brown and discoloured. 



202 



THE GREAT DIVIDE. 



becomes hard and dry, and gives out a hollow cavernous 
sound as you walk over the surface. In some of the dry 
pools the delicate apple-green fading into yellow of the 
sulphur tinge is very lovely, and the sulphur crystals are 
both lovely in colour and beautiful in form. 

Below the level plateau the ground slopes quickly 
down to the river. It is composed almost entirely of old 
deposit. Close to the margin of the stream are several 
active springs much frequented by invalids. The whole 
area occupied by the calcareous deposit of these springs is 
about two square miles. It appears as if the whole mass 
were moving down the mountains, for it has in many cases 
covered the pine-trees to a depth of six or eight feet, and 
left them standing erect, but dead and looking very sad 
and dreary. On a lower level other trees are growing in the 
old deposit, which creates an erroneous impression that the 
mass of white lime is bodily descending and encroaching 
on the forest. On the bank of the river, and also on tlie 
sides of the slope, are many springs of various tempera- 
tures, the full particulars of which will be found in the 
following tables, compiled by Mr. A. C. Peale, to which is 
added an analysis by Dr. Endlich : — 



Spbings at the Level of the River. 

Time of Observation, 8.30-8.40 a.m., July 29, 1872. There was no perceptible gas given off. 



No. 


Size of spring 


Depth 


Temperature 
of air 


Temperature of 
spring 


Elevation above 
sea-level 




Inches 


Inches 






Feet 


1 


12x12 


3 


70° F. 


104° R 


5750 


2 


30x30 


12 


70 


104 


6750 


3 




• •• 


70 


111 


6750 


4 


24x24 






70 


114 


5750 


5 
6 


1 Artificially- 






70 
70 


112 
94 


5750 
6750 


7 


enlarged 






70 


132 


5760 



THERMAL TERRACES. 203 

' As we go from the river up the hill towards the main 
springs we meet with a large pool of hot water, about 100 
feet in diameter. It is 230 feet above the level of the river, 
and on its edge there are several springs. Of two I took 
the temperatures, and found them both to be 140° F., the 
temperature of the air being 65° F., and the time of ob- 
servation 8 A.M. A short distance farther up we came to 
the main mass of springs, arranged on a series of terraces 
at different levels. The first terrace is 528 feet above the 
level of the river. The principal springs are on the first 
ten terraces, and as we go up the valley we find that, 
although there were once many springs here of a most 
active character, at the present time they have nearly 
all died out. The first four or five have the hottest 
springs, the boihng-point at which varies from 190-5° to 
200-9°.' I give the temperatures and other particulars 
in tabular form on the next two pages, vdth the intima- 
tion that the observations were all made on the 28th of 
July, 1872. 



204 



THE GREAT DIVIDE. 



GOOOOOOO'^^^lMOi— li— I.— Ir-H^r-l,— 1>— It— ln-l(v:>.-li— IrHi— IrH,— ICDCO^COCO 

l^t^t^t^OOO.— iCOOiCiOCiOCiCiCiiOiOOClCiCiOCiCiCiCiOOO 



t Suuds JO 
3jn;^BJ9duz8i 



ui ive JO 



lOVOiOiOiOiOOO 



id fl a fl rt 



• O O "^^ "^ "^ 00 "^ "^ "^ "^ '^ "^ -^ "^ 
I— ii— iCOCOOi— iCOl— ICDi— liXit^CDO 



CO nH CO -^ -^ — ^ -rH .r-. 

stM-v-q-iOiOOOO 
-' O O OGStCOOG^O 
-(DOiCDXXXXX 

' I S i ^ d fl' g fl" 



tc 



in .1 



a CM 



• • o o if .5 lo ^- . . . . 

: : d 4:^ X ^ ^ ^. X X X X X X X ^. 

* o o t+f" "^ o 4^ df di ii* ?S df 5^ 3 "^ 

rHrHOiC^r-l'^C^JfMCqCNCOCDCDr-l 



^1 a a g g a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a , 

"o"^ (^ d d (£ lA <£ <^ d <£ Q-iP^'P^^^Q-\0-tP-*<^ d d (^ (A d (^ (^ d d ^ d <^ d 

OOOO OOiOOOOOOOOOO lOOG^l^TjHiOOOOOOO 

Ttl-^^-^O^C<lC<ICCOOCOMCOCOO^^COCOOO'^rHr--(i— JrHrHr-HCOCOCO-^^ 

^ ^ 00 00 00 00 oi oi c£ ci ci c<i c>i (>T G^ G<i (^^ G^ c<i o d ci o o o o o o o o o o d 






. . . .^ 






TABLES OF TEMPERATURE, 8fc. 



205 



■Jt—ir-irHi— (i— li— li— (Q0000000000000000000000000000i0i0iCi0i01O0i0iO0:C5OO 



^t^t^t^t^t^t^J:^t^i:^ir^t^t^t^i:^i>.t^t^l:^t^t^t^t^t:^t>.t^l:^t^t^t^t^t^t^t^t^l:^ 



: G -rH a a p] ^j ^j 

. .^ ^ .,-, .rH ..-, C^^ <Vm 

00 1— I -^ Tti crq CO c<i 






X ^ CO G^ jlTco CO 
. X X X X X X 



CO ,—1 



'^'OOiOiOCOOCX) OOi— Ir 

1t^^c^^t^^G^^(^^c^^c^qooooooooo^ot^^-^-lr-^r-(^ 

i '^i ^i Cq Cq (>i C<i C^ r-H r-5 rH rH rA rA :-A ,-5 CQ c<i oi (?q c^i (M' rA r 



:; ® :i :^ :i 






206 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

Analysis oe the Deposits from these Springs. 

(Made by Dr. Endlich.) 

Per Cent. 

Loss at 110° 0. 1-75 ) g^-io 
Loss at ignition, 30*35 j 

Lime 5770 

Silica 3-32 

Ferric Oxyd 3-62 

Alumina 3*31 

Magnesia Trace 

Soda^ Trace 

100-05 

Altogether these hot springs of Gardiner's Eiver afford 
a novel, beautiful, and very marvellous sight. The only 
other instances, that I am aware of, of a spectacle equal- 
ling or surpassing them in size, and of a similar character, 
exist in New Zealand, in the terraced formations of Te 
Tarata and Otukapuarange. These remarkable groups 
of springs are situated on the borders of Lake Taupo, the 
former being at the north-east end, while the latter is on 
the opposite shore. ' Te Tarata,' which being translated 
signifies 'Tattooed Eock,' is thus described by Hoch- 
stetter : — 

' First of all is Te Tarata, at the north-east end of the 
lake, with its terraced marble steps projecting into the 
lake, the most marvellous of the Eotomahana marvels. 
About 80 feet above the lake, on the fern-clad slope of a 
hill, from which in various places hot vapours are escaping, 
there lies the immense boiling cauldron in a crater-like 
excavation, with steep, reddish sides, 30 to 40 feet high, 
and open only on the lake side towards the west. The 
basin of the spring is about 80 feet long and 60 wide, 
and filled to the brim with perfectly clear, transparent 
water, which in the snow-white incrustated basin appears 

^ By spectroscopic examination. 



NUIF ZEALAND SPBINGS. 207 

of a beautiful blue, like the blue turquoise. At the 
margin of the basin I found a temperature of 183° F., 
but in the middle, where the water is in a constant state 
of ebullition to the height of several feet, it probably 
reaches the boiling-point. Immense clouds of steam, re- 
flecting the beautiful blue of the basin, curl up, generally 
obstructing the view of the whole surface of water ; but 
the noise of boiling and seething is always distinctly 
audible. Akutina (Augustus), the native who served me 
as a guide, asserted that sometimes the whole mass of 
water is suddenly thrown out with an immense force, and 
that then the empty basin is open to the view to a depth 
of 30 feet, but that it fills again very quickly. Such 
eruptions are said to occur only during violent easterly 

gales The reaction of the water is neutral ; it 

has a slightly salt, but by no means unpleasant taste, 
and possesses in a high degree petrifying, or rather 
incrustating qualities. The deposit of the water is like 
that of the Iceland springs, silicious, not calcareous, and 
the silicious deposits and incrustations of the constantly 
overflowing water have formed on the slope of the 
hill a system of terraces, which, as white as if cut from 
marble, present an aspect which no description or illus- 
tration is able to represent The flat spreading 

foot of the terraces extends far into the lake. There the 
terraces commence with low shelves containing shallow 
water basins. The farther up, the higher grow the 
terraces ; two, three, some also four and six feet high. 
They are formed by a number of semicircular stages, of 
which, however, not two are of the same height. Each 
of these stages has a small raised margin, from which 
slender stalactites are hanging down upon the lower stage ; 
and encircles on its platform one or more basins, resplen- 
dent with the most beautiful blue water. These small 
water basins represent as many natural bathing basins, 



208 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

which the most refined luxury could not have prepared 
in a more splendid and commodious style. The basins 
can be chosen shallow or deep, large or small, and of 
every variety of temperature, as the basins upon the 
higher stages, nearer to the main basin, contain warmer 
water than those upon the lower ones. Some of the 
basins are so large and so deep that one can easily swim 
about in them. In ascending the steps, it is of course 
necessary to wade in the tepid water, which spreads 
beside the lower basins upon the platform of the stages, 
but rarely reaching above the ankle. During violent 
water eruptions from the main basin steaming cascades 
may occur ; at ordinary times but very little water 
ripples over the terraces, and only the principal discharge 
on the south side forms a hot steaming fall. After 
reaching the highest terrace there is an extensive plat- 
form with a number of basins, five to six feet deep, their 
water showing a temperature of 90° to 110° F. In the 
middle of this pla.tform there arises, close to the brink of 
the main basin, a kind of rock island about twelve feet 
high, decked with manuka, mosses, lycopodium, and 
fern. It may be visited without danger, and from it the 
curious traveller has a fair and full view into the blue, boil- 
ing, and steaming cauldron. Such is the famous Te Tarata. 
The pure white of the silicious deposit in contrast with 
the blue of the water, the green of the surrounding 
vegetation, the intense red of the bare earthwalls of the 
water crater, and the whirling clouds of steam, — all 
together presents a scene unequalled in its kind.' 

Judging by this account, and by the descriptions con- 
tained in other narratives, it would appear that the Mam- 
moth Hot Springs and Te Tarata, though differing a good 
deal in size, yet very closely resemble one another in 



THE PROVIDENCE OF GEYSERS. 209 

many respects, the producing causes being in both cases 
identical. The formations are much the same in general 
appearance and characteristics, though, owing to an im- 
portant difference in composition, they are not precisely alike 
in matters of detail. But the latter is certainly the more 
remarkable group of the two. Tt enjoys the privilege of 
being surrounded by very picturesque scenery ; it has the 
advantage in point of size ; and, thanks to the prevalence 
of silica in its constituent parts, it stands pre-eminent in 
beauty. 

The deposit which during ages it has formed occupies 
a space about one-third larger than that covered by the 
sediment brought to the surface by the other spring. 
While the principal mound at Gardiner's Eiver is higher 
than the summit of the Te Tarata terraces, yet the plat- 
form that crowns it is considerably smaller ; and in the latter 
case the level surface of the top is occuj^ied by several 
springs, the principal one of which has a huge orifice 
.measuring 80 feet by 60, quite eclipsing in point of size 
the basin of the forraer. It is a true geyser also, and 
plays at rare intervals, occasionally expelling the whole 
mass of water contained in it. At the Mammoth Hot 
Springs, on the contrary, there is no sign whatever of 
any recent eruption. The central spring merely bubbles 
constantly, and the overflow of water from it is moderate, 
and does not vary much in the quantity at different 
times discharged. 

That enormous geysers have at one time existed 
in activity on Gardiner's Eiver, is evidenced by their 
remains ; and I have no doubt that formerly the central 
fountain on the summit of the white hill was a spouting 
geyser of the first class. Geysers are very provident. 
From the moment of their birth they commence to build up 
their own tombs ; and, as the specimen in question at present 



210 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

shows signs of great exhaustion, I expect that the days of its 
hot youth are over ; that its life's woi'k is nearly done ; 
and that before long, geologically speaking, it will have 
closed up altogether and have joined the ranks of its 
companions already dead and buried. 

From the signs of past activity and the evidence of 
present want of energy,' and from the fact that a great 
portion of the deposit on Gardiner's Eiver has decom- 
posed and crumbled away, I should surmise, after making 
due allowance for the more perishable nature of the 
secretion, that the system of Te Tarata is the more recent 
of the two. The peculiarities of both groups are similar 
in character and description, but they are most strongly 
marked at Te Tarata, where the steps and terraces are 
broader, more perfectly formed, and more regular in 
shape, and where the pools are deeper and larger. In 
strangeness and variety of colouring, however, Gardiner's 
Eiver bears off the palm. But the New Zealand group must 
be by far the more picturesque. Its superior attractions are 
to be attributed partly to the pleasing effect produced by 
the terraces descending into and extending under the 
waters of the lake, and partly also to the verdure and the 
beauty of the surrounding scenery ; but principally they 
are owing to the fact that the deposit contains silica very 
largely in excess of any other material. The consequence 
of this is that, whereas at the Mammoth Hot Springs the 
deposit, which is principally composed of lime, is soft 
and crumbly, and has in many places decayed and 
turned brown, presenting a somewhat dirty, ragged, and 
used-up appearance, at Te Tarata the formation is as 
beautifully white and undefiled as Carrara marble, and 
is hard and brittle, breaking into clean lines of fracture 
like porcelain. This quality must greatly enhance ihe 
beauties of the place. 



AN OUTPOST OF CIVILISATION. 



211 



Otukapuarange must be exceedingly lovely. It also 
appears to have originated later in the world's history 
than Its American rival, and perhaps on that account it 
excels that rival in beauty, though not in general interest 
The pure white of Te Tarata is here replaced by a 
delicate pink, which pervades the whole mass of deposit 
The principal crater or cauldron exceeds in magnitude 
anything at Gardiner's River, being forty or fifty feet in 
diameter. It is situated on a circular platform one 
hundred yards in breadth. Silica enters largely into the 
composition of the deposit here also, and it is con- 
sequently hard, brittle, and flinty, like china. The 
terraces are very regular, but are not as remarkable in 
construction and form as those across the lake at Te 
Tarata. 

In Iceland there is no deposit equalling in size or 
rivalling in interest those mentioned above. 

The accommodation at the Mammoth Hot Sprinc^s 
Hotel was in an inverse ratio to the gorgeous description 
contained m the advertisements of the Helena and 
Virginia newspapers. No doubt the neighbourhood of 
these springs will some day become a fashionable place 
At present, being the last outpost of civilisation,_that is 
the last place where whisky is sold,_it is merely resorted 
to by a few invahds from Helena and Virginia City, and 
is principally known to fame as a rendezvous of hunters, 
trappers, and idlers, who take the opportunity to loiter 
about on the chance of getting a party to conduct to the 
geysers, hunting a httle, and selling meat to a few visitors 
who frequent the place in summer ; sending the good speci- 
mens of heads and skeletons of rare beasts to the Natural 
History men in New York and the East; and occupying 
their spare time by making little basket-work ornaments 



212 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

and nicknacks, which, after placing them for some days in 
the water so that they become coated with white siHcates, 
they sell to the travellers and invahds as memorials of 
their trip. They are a curious race, these mountain men, 
hunters, trappers, and guides — very good fellows as a rule, 
honest and open-handed, obliging and civil to strangers 
if treated with civihty by them. They make what I 
should think must be rather a poor living out of travel- 
lers and pleasure parties, doing a little hunting, a little 
mining, and more prospecting during the summer. In 
the winter they hybernate like bears, for there is abso- 
lutely nothing for them to do. They seek out a sheltered 
canon or warm valley with a southern aspect, and, build- 
ing a little shanty, purchase some pork and flour, and lay 
up till Spring opens the rivers and allows of gulch mining 
operations being recommenced. If you ask a man in the 
autumn where he is going and what he is going to do, 
ten to one he will tell you that it is getting pretty late in 
the season now, and that it won't be long before we have 
some heavy snow, and he is going ' down the river or up 
the canon.' 

For a week we lay at the hot springs on Gardiner's 
Eiver, unable to move on account of illness in the camp, 
and waiting for Wynne. The weather was beautiful ; 
the storm had entirely subsided, and was succeeded by 
bright, warm, sunny days, softened and beautified by the 
dim autumnal haze. It was very aggravating to lose such 
fine weather for travelling, and we chafed impatiently at 
the enforced delay. Some of us went out hunting, and 
brought in good store of fat antelope ; others amused 
themselves with the trout which abound in Gardiner's 
Eiver and the Yellowstone. However, at last, on a Sunday, 
Wynne arrived, wdth a large and very welcome packet of 
letters from home. We had plenty to do all that nio-ht 



EXPANSE OF FOREST. 213 

reading and answering letters, and on the next morning 
we made a start. 

The trail, after crossing one of the forks of Gardiner's 
Eiver, follows up the main stream, which makes near its 
head a very pretty little fall. The canon is there about 
500 yards across at the top, and narrows at the 
bottom to a width of thirty or forty yards. The top is 
densely covered with small pines, which also grow on the 
precipitous sides wherever they can find room to strike 
their roots. Flowing out of these pine-trees the river 
rushes down a precipitous chff for about 300 feet, leaping 
over a sheer fall in one place of 100 feet in height. The 
volume of water is small, but the fall is full of grace and 
beauty. In the sides of the canon above the fall occur 
some interesting and remarkable instances of structural 
basalt, the different outflows being divided by intervenino- 
bands of clay. The columnar forms are very distinctly 
shown, and the strata look at a little distance exactly 
like ramparts of masonry. 

The path — if so vague an indication of former travel 
can be called a path — after winding most picturesquely 
along the sides of the ravine debouches on to a sort of 
upland prairie country, composed of low, rounded, grass- 
covered hills, concealing in their hollows many still, sedgy, 
reed-fringed ponds. By ascending any of these little hills 
you will see spread out all around a great black mantle of 
forest rolling in successive waves to the horizon, appa- 
rently without hmit, save that in the distance the range 
of the Yellowstone and the mountains about the sources 
of the Madison break through its dark uniformity ; while 
far away to the south is shadowed the dim outline of the 
three Tetons. 

In the afternoon we passed quite a patriarchal camp, 
composed of two men with their Indian wives and 
Q 



214 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

several children ; half a dozen powerful savage-looking 
dogs and about fifty horses completed the party. They 
had been grazing their stock, hunting and trapping, 
leading a nomad, vagabond, and delicious life — a sort 
of mixed existence, half hunter, half herdsman, and had 
collected a great pile of deer-hides and beaver-skins. 
They were then on their way to settlements to dispose of 
their peltry, and to get stores and provisions ; for they, 
too, were proceeding to look for comfortable winter 
quarters, ' down the river or up the canon.' 

Encountering people in these sohtudes is like meeting 
a suspicious sail at sea when your country is at war, and 
you are uncertain as to the character, nationality, inten- 
tions, size, and strength of the stranger. The latter 
point is the most important to clear up. Man is the 
most dangerous beast that roams the forest, and the first 
idea that enters the mind on meeting him or seeing his 
traces is one of hostility ; you take it for granted that he 
is an enemy and to be guarded against, until you ascer- 
tain that he is a friend and can be trusted. It is therefore 
advisable in such cases to heave-to and reconnoitre, and 
make signals. The number of horses staggered us at 
first, but we soon discovered that the strangers were 
white, and, moreover, that there were only two men in 
camp ; and without more ado we rode in and made 
friends. What a lot of mutually interesting information 
was given and received ! We were outward bound and 
had the news, and the latitude and the longitude. They 
were homeward bound, had been wandering for months, 
cut ofi* from all means of communication with the outside 
world, and had but the vaguest notion of their position 
on the globe. 

But, though ignorant of external matters and what 
was going on in settlements, they had not lost all desire 




^ 



THE VIRTUES OF AN INDIAN WIFE. 215 

for information. It seems natural to suppose that a man 
condemned to a long sojourn in the wilds would become 
quite careless of everything but the wants and necessities 
of his daily life. But with United Stateans, at any rate, 
this is not the case. An American, although he lives 
with an Indian woman in the forests or on the plains, 
never quite loses his interest in pohtics and parties; and 
these two squaw-men were very anxious to hear all about 
electioneering matters, and to know whether anything 
important had taken place on the great question that was 
convulsing their world-that is, the few detached settle- 
ments in Montana ; namely, whether Virginia City should 
continue to be the capital, or whether her mantle should 
be taken from her shoulders and transferred to the back 
of her more prosperous rival, Helena. They wanted to 
know also how far it was to Bozeman, and how the 
place lay by compass. 

These men looked very happy and comfortable. Un- 
questionably the proper way for a man to travel with ease 
and luxury in these deserts is for him to take unto himself a 
helpmate chosen from the native population. No amount of 
art, industry, and study can rival the instinct displayed by 
savages in making themselves comfortable, and in utilising 
for their own benefit all the accidents of Nature. Nobody 
can choose a camp as they can ; nobody knows how to 
make a fire so quickly or so well ; nobody can so wisely pick 
a shady cool place in summer heat, or choose one sheltered 
from wind and storms in winter. With an Indian wife to 
look after his bodily comforts, a man may devote himself 
to hunting, fishing, or trapping without a thought or 
care. He may make his mind quite easy about all house- 
hold matters. His camp will be well arranged, the tent- 
pegs driven securely home, the stock watered, picketed, and 
properly cared for, a good supper cooked, his bed spread 

« 2 



216 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

out, and everything made comfortable ; his clothes and 
hunting-gear looked after, the buttons sewn on his shirts — 
if he has got any shirt or any buttons ; and all the little 
trivial incidents of life which, if neglected, wear out one's 
existence, he will find carefully attended to by a willing 
and affectionate slave. 

They had a lot to tell us also about their travels and 
adventures, about the wood and water supply, and the 
abundance or deficiency of game. So we sat down on 
bales of beaver-skins and retailed all the civilised intelli- 
gence we could think of; and the women came and 
brought us embers for our pipes, and spread out robes for 
us and made us at home ; and the little fat, chubby 
children, wild and shy as young wolves, peered at us from 
behind the tent out of their round, black, beady eyes. 

Soon after leaving their camp we crossed the low 
divide between the valley of Gardiner's Eiver and that 
of the Yellowstone, and camped very late on Tower 
Creek, a little above its junction with the former river. 

The falls, and also a portion of Tower Creek, are well 
worthy of a visit. The canon of the river is exceedingly 
precipitous and rugged, and is so black, savage, and for- 
bidding in its aspect that it has, wdth the strange aptitude 
evinced by the human race to attribute everything strange 
or horrible to the Evil One, been called the Devil's 
Den. Through this narrow gorge the river foams and 
rushes with great velocity ; and about 200 yards 
above its entrance into the Yellowstone, which occurs 
just where that river debouches from the Grand Caiion, 
it shoots over an abrupt descent of 156 feet, forming 
a very picturesque fall. 

In the sides of Tower Creek and in the walls of the lower 
end of the Grand Canon near the mouth of the creek are, I 
think, the most perfect instances of basalt to be seen any- 



THE CREEK WITH A FLAMING NAME. 217 

where along the trail. The plain, composed of volcanic 
breccia, rolls steeply to the edge of the precipice, and then 
occurs a long escarpment of perpendicular basaltic columns 
arranged with perfect regularity. Below, at a little 
distance, is another wall of similarly constructed basalt, 
and below that again is a third row, terminating in a 
stratum of reddish clay, which tops a sheer precipice of 
the primitive rock. The three different lines of basalt 
are separated by thick layers of a whitish substance, 
resembling the deposits of the hot springs, and with 
bands of red and brown clay or marl. The debris of this 
calcareous formation seems to rest loosely upon the 
trachyte beneath it, as it forms pyramid-shaped heaps 
on the prominent buttresses of basalt. 

We saw to-day on the opposite side of the river the 
gloomy, forbidding gorge of Hell Eoaring Creek, its 
entrance guarded by a bold promontory or mountain 
blessed with the same euphonious name. We also passed 
THE bridge, the only bridge across the Yellowstone, and 
therefore an object of some interest. It is situated close 
to the junction of the east fork with the main stream, is 
constructed of stone, and was made at a great expense 
for the accommodation of miners on Clarke's Fork. Few 
there be that cross over it now. 

The next day (Tuesday) we broke camp early, and 
about noon met another party, consisting of three men, 
out prospecting. They had but the haziest notion of their 
whereabouts in the world. They had wintered in the 
mountains, and had only once been into settlements, down 
somewhere on Snake Eiver, early in the spring. We gave 
them all the information we could, and bought some flour 
from them, giving them an order on Boteler's brother 
for some groceries in exchange. 

The country traversed on this day's march was not 



218 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

very interesting. The trail, soon after leaving Tower 
Creek, passes to the west of the Yellowstone, and crosses 
at an easy gradient the northern rim of the basin of that 
river, about a mile west of Mount Washburne. The 
ascent and the descent were very long and tedious, but 
there was a fine view from the summit of the pass. A 
heavily-timbered, flattish, but uneven plain lay beneath 
us, broken with occasional open spaces or parks ; to the 
south the jagged outlines of the Tetons burst through the 
forest ; in the east, the range in which Clarke's Fork has 
its rise was glowing in the setting sun, as our jaded 
horses slowly climbed the steep incline ; and to the west 
the Madison Mountains were darkening into night. The 
snow must be awfully deep on this path sometimes, for 
near the top we noticed some pine-trees which had been 
cut down, fully twenty feet above the ground, by a party 
two or three years ago. 

Mount Washburne is the highest peak in this range, 
and, like most American mountains, is very easy of ascent. 
You can ride to the very top, and the view from the 
summit is magnificent ; but the day being very cloudy 
I did not then attempt to go up. 

We camped at a late hour on the south side of the 
mountain ; and what a supper I did eat ! It may seem 
strange, and it may be very shocking to think and talk 
about one's material comforts and gross appetites : but, as 
I am writing from memory whatever comes uppermost, 
the recollection of antelope-steak is very fresh and dis- 
tinct just at present, savouring in my nostrils and bring- 
ing moisture to the lip, and overpowering all other 
thoughts. In fancy I can scent the odour of it afar ofi*. 
Would that I could do so in reality ! Bearing in mind 
that I had lived for a week at the hot springs on burnt 
flour and water, you will perhaps pardon my gastronomic 



I 



THE TOILS OF TOILETTE DECORATION. 219 

enthusiasm. If people deny that one of the greatest en- 
joyments of hfe is eating when you are famishing, then 
those people either are devoid of the first principles of 
morality or have never been hungry ; and they had better 
learn to speak the truth, or live on spare diet for a week, 
then get into vigorous health, and so know what a good 
appetite really means. 

If a man wishes to be comfortable in camp, once for 
all, let him give up the idea of being too comfortable. 
If he tries to carry out his preconceived ideas as to 
cleanliness and dry changes of clothes ; warm things for 
cold weather and cool garments for hot ; boots for riding 
and boots for walking, and all the rest of the appliances of 
civilised life, he will find himself constantly worried and 
continually disappointed. Encumbered with a large kit, 
he will never be able to find anything he wants, for the 
needed article is sure to sink out of sight into the bottom 
of the bag. If he comes in hot and exhausted — in the 
condition that at home would call imperiously for a bath 
and a change — and sets to work to rummage out another 
suit and flannel shirt, he will only succeed in making him- 
self ten times hotter than before. He will be irritated by 
hopping about on one leg and tripping up in his efforts 
to scramble out of and into his trousers ; and probably 
they v^U prove hairier than the last pair and will tickle 
his legs. His shirt will certainly have a grass-seed or 
a little bit of stick or something sharp and disagreeable 
sticking in it, that will scratch him every time he moves ; 
or the collar will have shrunk at the last washing to half 
its natural dimensions ; or his boots will pinch his swollen 
feet ; and altogether he will find himself at the end of his 
exertions much more uncomfortable than he was at the 
beginning. No, no ; reduce yourself to primitive sim- 
pHcity ; one suit, and a change of under ga] ments. If it 



220 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

is cold, put on your change and extra shirt ; if it is 
very hot, go without your coat or waistcoat — or breeches, 
if it pleases you. 

As with dressing so it is also with cooking. The same 
principle obtains in both cases ; the simpler and less pre- 
tentious the style of yoiu* cook the better pleased you 
will be with the result of his efforts. There is nothing 
between the high art of a cordon bleu — the supreme 
flights of genius which result in such dinners as one gets 
only in a good English house, a first-class London club, 
or an A 1 Paris restaurant — and a steak toasted on a 
stick. I love not the greasy luxuries of the frying-pan, 
the hollow mockery of plates and things set out as if for 
a civilised dinner, napkins folded, and all the rest of it. 
Maxwell tried it on at first, and was indignant that his 
neatly-folded cockades and solidifying fat were not ap- 
preciated. 

If you like to sit at a cloth spread and arranged in 
imitation of a dinner-table and to eat of fried meat, very 
good ; I don't mind. Those two candles which^ dimly 
illuminate you are very hard and solid ; they are made 
of elk-fat ; and before you have done supper you will have 
several of those candles in your inside. It is all a matter 
of taste. 

Let me tell you the other way. First of all, make 
yourself a cake of flour and water, a little sugar, salt of 
course, and a pinch — a most minute pinch — of baking- 
powder. It does not matter if you put none of the last in- 
gredient in ; the bread will be more wholesome without it, 
Eoll this out extremely thin like a biscuit, score it with 
your knife, put it on a tin plate, and prop it up with a 
short stick before the embers to bake. It will be crisp, 
brown, and digestible in a few minutes. Put another 
plate near the fire, and let it get nearly red-hot. Then 



MUSIC OF THE WATERS. 221 

with a sharp knife cut yourself a portion of meat from 
the best part of the animal, cutting it at least an inch 
and a half thick. Beat it with your knife-handle to 
break up the fibre, unless it is very tender indeed. Then 
divide it into several small fragments, one of which you 
will, after carefully salting and peppering it, impale upon 
a stick and plunge momentarily into a bright clear flame. 
Then toast it slowly over the embers. The sudden 
immersion in the fire glazes the surface of the meat and 
cakes the salt over it, so that during the after process of 
cooking scarcely any of the juice can escape, and the 
result is a kabob — rich, succulent, tender, and fit for any 
epicure. While you are eating one bit you toast another. 
Your plate is hot, your meat hot, your bread crisp and 
hot, and your tea hot ; and, if that won't satisfy you in the 
wilderness, nothing will. This was my style and Boteler's ; 
and we would lie side by side in front of the fire, toasting 
a little bit, and yet still another little bit, long after the 
others had bolted their hot soft rolls and fried meat. 

We had a most lovely camp that night on the edge 
of a prairie, in a little cozy grassy bay that indented the 
forest shores. The sun sank in a quiet sky ; the stars 
shone clear, bright, and steady with unwavering light ; 
the universe rested and was at peace. The wind talked to 
the trees, and the pines in answer bowed their stately 
heads, and with a sigh of melancholy swept their gloomy 
branches to and fro. All through the night the myste- 
rious music of the distant falls rose and fell upon the 
breeze — sometimes borne up distinct and clear, a mighty 
roar and crash of waters ; then sinking to an almost 
inaudible hum like the tremulous vibration of a mighty 
but remote harp-string. Not far away stood some bare 
burnt pine-trees, sadly complaining to the night air when 
it rose and softly touched their naked boughs, making to 



222 



THE GREAT DIVIDE. 



it their melancholy moan, and sinking again into silence 
as the breeze passed on. 

We could hear the short comfortable crop, crop, crop 
of the horses as they nipped the herbage. The day had 
been very warm, and the air was heavy with the faint 
odour of autumn flowers and sweet grass, and with the 
strong fragrance of the resinous firs. It was almost too 
fine a night to waste in sleep, but slumber comes soon to 
tired men soothed by Nature's harmony when the elements 
are at rest; and unconsciousness, casting over us her 
mantle, quickly wrapped our senses in her dark folds. 




INDIAN SADDLE. 



tl2S 



CHAPTEE YI. 

TO THE YELLOWSTONE FALLS. 

Wednesday morning found us up betimes, blowing 
our fingers and stamping our feet m that chilly ' little 
hour before day,' pulling up tent-pegs, rolling packs, 
putting together a few necessaries, and making prepara- 
tions for a hard day's work. As we intended, if possible, 
to pitch our tents the same evening beyond the Mud 
Springs, and as we wished to examine those volcanoes, 
and also to visit the Falls of the Yellowstone, we had 
determined overnight to divide into two parties in order 
to save time, and to send Boteler, Jack, Maxwell, and 
Campbell straight to the camping-place, while the rest 
of us made a detour to the Falls and Springs. Both parties 
having a very long and arduous day's march before them, 
we all hiu-ried out early in the morning before it was light, 
and drove in the stock. While looking for them we found 
wapiti close to camp, and Campbell fired at but missed a 
stag. Jack killed one later in the day. Wynne, Kingsley 
and I felt a little ' dubersome ' as to whether we were capa- 
ble of finding our way unguided ; but Boteler reassured 
our diffident minds by saying it was all right, and that 
we should be certain to find him without trouble 
camped about eight or ten miles west of the Springs. 
We could not possibly miss him, he said, because as far as 
the mud volcanoes there was a fine plain trail to guide 



224 THE GREAT DIVIDE, 

' US, and after that we had only to turn due west and 
follow another track leading in that direction, and right 
on that track the tents would be pitched. So after seeing 
everything properly packed and secured, and the mules 
well under way, we turned our horses' heads, and guided 
by the distant sound of water cantered off, full of expec- 
tation, to see one of the greatest sights of the country 
side ; and after a short ride we arrived at the river's brink 
just above the Falls. 

When the Yellowstone leaves the lake of the same 
name it flows in a calm steady current for many miles, 
and then, before charging through the phalanx of the 
mountains which oppose its passage to the north, it per- 
forms a series of gymnastics over rapids, cascades, and 
waterfalls, as if exercising its muscles and sinews, pre- 
paring itself and gathering strength for the mighty effort 
by which it tears a passage through the granite flanks of 
tlie range. A mighty effort truly, or rather a vast expen- 
diture of force, has been employed in cleaving the Grand 
Canon, a rent in the mountains over twenty miles long, 
and of vast depth. Where the river enters the canon 
the sides are from 1,200 to 2,000 feet high ; and fiurther 
down they rise to a greater altitude, an altitude which has 
never been determined, for the depths of that chasm have 
not yet been explored or trodden by human foot. 

Both the Falls are caused by basaltic dykes or walls, 
crossing the bed of the river at right angles to its course. 
The volume of water is not very great, and there is 
nothing stupendous or soul-subduing here as there is at 
Niagara ; neither are the Falls very remarkable for their 
height. But they have a savage beauty all their own, a 
wild loveliness peculiar to them ; and what they lack in 
volume, power, and general grandeur is amply atoned 



THE YELLOWSTONE FALLS. 225 

for in the pre-eminently distinctive character of the 
scenery about them, and by the lavish display of colour 
and strange forms of stratification which distinguish their 
surroundings. The scene is so solitary, so utterly desolate, 
the colouring is so startling and novel, the fantastic shapes 
of the rock so strange and weird, that a glamour of 
enchantment pervades the place, which, though inde- 
libly impressed upon my mind, is yet quite impossible to 
describe. 

Above the first cascade the river flows in a bold 
sweeping curve through meadows, its swift green current 
unbroken by rock or rapid. Presently it begins to break and 
foam, dashing over several trachyte ledges of eight or ten 
feet in height. Then the sides close in ; the channel con- 
tracts rather suddenly ; and the river penned in between 
its converging walls rises to a greater height, and, rushing 
with vast force through a narrow space, shoots clear out 
into the air, and dashes down 140 feet. The water 
must be deep at the brow of the Fall, but it is perfectly 
white, and does not possess those glorious streaks of colour, 
purple and green, that are so beautifully exemplified at 
Niagara. It lodges in a horseshoe basin, the sides of 
which are rather low, not more than from 150 to 200 
feet in height. Just beneath the surface of the water, 
and directly under the cascade, a sloping ledge of rock 
projects ; and the somewhat narrow and slender column of 
water strikes the seething waves that barely cover this shelf 
with such violent concussion that it drives itself forward 
like a white fan or inverted wedge for some distance along 
the dark surface of the pool beyond. Immediately after its 
leap the river bends somewhat suddenly to the left, and 
rushes in a series of small rapids over the low ledges and 
detached fragments of rock of which its bed is composed 



226 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

for the space of about half a mile which intervenes be- 
tween the two principal dykes. In this half-mile it drops 
altogether sixty-eight feet. 

Above the lower Fall also the waters are com- 
pressed and heaped up into a narrow channel ; and the 
Yellowstone entering the gorge with the velocity acquired 
in its rapid descent from the upper shoot, and pressing 
tumultuously through, hurls itself bodily out from the edge 
with a descent of 397 feet, forming a very grand cascade. 

After that it goes tearing and tossing, rising in the 
centre in white siu*ges, and lashing the sides of the chasm in 
anger, till it is lost to view round an angle of the Grand 
Canon. 

The upper cascade, though much the smaller of the 
two, is the most beautiful, being more instinct with life, 
motion, and variety than the other ; but the lower Fall is 
by far the most impressive. 

Along the brink and descending the sides in all direc- 
tions run many game-trails, which may be safely followed, 
for though mountain sheep can climb almost anywhere, 
yet their ordinary paths are quite practicable for man. 

There are three points from which good views can be 
obtained. The first is a sort of ledge, jutting out and 
affording a fine opportunity for observing the upper cas- 
cade, the Horseshoe basin, and the crest of the lower Fall. 
The lower Fall itself is best seen from a little pro- 
montory, which forms an angle in the cliff, and partially 
overhangs the brink. The view from there of the river 
preparing for its leap is very good. The advancing volume 
of water flows rapidly but solidly to the very edge, 
then hurls itself into the air suddenly, and falls with a dull 
thud into a circular foaming cauldron, bounded by steep 
precipices 800 feet in height. 

The dark masses of w^ater castinsf themselves con- 



A SOUL-ENTRANCING VIEW. 227 

tinuously over the ledge string out into long, perfectly 
white threads of glistening air-bubbles and foam, and long 
before they reach the surface beneath seem to be entirely 
dissolved into fine spray and rain ; but it is not so, for at 
the repeated shocks of their concussion earth and air 
tremble. From the misty depths below the roar of the 
waters constantly arises in distinct vibrations like the 
humming of a harp -string, and the steam floats up for 
ever in great clouds. The cliff is very bare and naked, 
but on the western side it is partially covered with a 
carpet of bright green moss, nurtured by the ever-faUing 
spray. 

A little further down is a ledge terminating in a pillar 
or horn of rock, from which you can see right into the 
jaws of the canon, and command a general view of 
the foot of the Falls and of both cliff faces, far surpassing 
that to be obtained from any other standpoint. 

I left my horse in a clump of trees, and, crawling out 
upon a projecting rock, sat down at the foot of a pine- 
tree, leaned back against its ruddy trunk, and surrendered 
myself to the enchantment of the spot. Looking across 
the river to the east, I saw in the distance wave after wave 
of forest, broken now and then by a bare crest, appearing 
like an occasional breaker in a tumultuous sea. Then 
came an interval of plain, sloping gently down in graceful 
undulations, carpeted with short grass, fringed with the 
forest, and dotted with clumps of pines and solitary trees. 
This lawn continues to the very edge of the precipice ; and 
then beneath it, and right opposite to me, rose the face of 
the cliff. This face is composed principally of soft material, 
clays and conglomerates, with here and there a few 
intrusions of weather-worn basalt. The clays are dyed — 
by the presence, I presume, of iron, copper, and sulphur 
— into brilliant and startling combinations of colours, 



228 THE GREAT DIVIDE, 

sometimes beautifully blended together, sometimes op- 
posed, with that glaring contradiction to the laws of 
man of which Nature is so fond, and with that perfect suc- 
cess that always attends her efforts. Every shade of yellow 
is represented, from a delicate cream colour to glaring 
saffron ; bright reds and scarlets, and most glorious pur- 
ples, shading off into black, are relieved by occasional 
patches of vivid verdure, or by the more sombre green of 
the few audacious pine-trees that cling triumphantly to 
the cliff. The surface is by no means uniform, being par- 
tially composed of basalt, bearing a wonderful resem- 
blance to old masonry, and looking like the crumbhng 
walls of some overwhelmed town, and partly of con- 
glomerates of hot spring deposit and calcareous earths. 
Breaking through the soft material in lines and buttresses, 
these harder fragments terminate in or rest upon a steep 
slope of richly-coloured clay. The whole face of the 
cliff is thus composed of a series of broken detached 
sheer precipices, divided by almost perpendicular intervals 
of variegated conglomerates and clays, on which grow a 
few scattered and struggling pines. 

The easily disintegrated strata, yielding more readily to 
the action of weather than the harder rocks, have assumed 
most fantastic shapes ; spires, pinnacles, and isolated 
peaks, round towers, and square castellated masses of 
, indurated clays, alternating with sharp angular fragments 
of more closely-textured rock, are left standing erect upon 
the slopes. Some of the springs have formed on the 
smooth surface crooked horns and protuberances. In 
some places the precipice is coated with hme, dazzhngly 
white ; in others the deposit is of delicately yellow 
crystals of sulphur. Springs of water carrymg sulphur 
and sulphate of copper are numerous, and have painted 
the cliff in long streaks of colour. 



MAGICAL MENTAL EFFECTS. 229 

To examine and study at all in detail this wonderful 
canon and these waterfalls would occupy the attention of 
a scientific man for a long time, and right well would he 
be rewarded for his labour. It is a place full of interest 
even to the most casual and careless observer. His ex- 
ternal senses are all appropriately appealed to ; the hidden 
recesses of his inner self are reached and stirred by the 
mystery and wild beauty of the scene ; and a man sitting 
alone and gazing upon it cannot fail to be strongly im- 
pressed by so wonderful a view. He becomes saturated 
with the glories of Nature, stunned with the magnitude of 
her works. His ear is soothed and his soul awed by the 
deep, monotonous, everlasting cadence of the Fall, and by 
the sad sighing of the pine-trees under which he sits. His 
eye, pleased yet almost bewildered by the infinite variety 
and voluptuousness of the colouring, rests with gladness 
on the scattered patches of spray-nurtured moss. His 
whole being becomes possessed with a feeling of utter 
littleness, and with the hopelessness of ever thinkino- to 
rise to a level sufficiently high to enable him to compre- 
hend in the smallest degree the greatness and grandeur 
of the Creator's works, mingled with a sense of intense 
dehght and enthusiasm at the manifestation of force, 
beauty, and persistent strength before him. A feeling of 
pardonable pride thrills through him — pride that he too 
forms a part of the same scheme, is a higher manifestation 
of the same power, a more perfect combination of the 

same material. He feels at one with Nature ; the birds 

that fly, the beasts that roam the forests, the very 
trees and leaves and flowers are his brethren. For 
an instant there rushes across his mind a swift shadowy 
apprehension of the idea of an all-pervading Something, of a 
great awful Oneness, that, in spite of the jangling discordant 
jarrings, the dislocations ,and apparent contradictions of 



230 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

existence, envelopes us in its limitless unanimity, is round 
about us everywhere, in all things and through all thinfTs. 
For an instant he soars above the shadows cast by the 
ignorance of mankind, and pierces the clouds of our folly. 
The harsh grating of the inexplicable problems that haunt 
us, the hideous inharmonies that harass us, the questions 
which, because they cannot be answered and will not be 
evaded, drive men to despair, dimmed in ihe sudden blaze 
of intelligence that dazzles him, drowned in the great 
monotone that thrills him to the core, sound but as the 
slight creaking of machinery, the necessary rattle of the 
cranks, the unavoidable friction of the wheels of an 
engine not yet in thorough working order, yet as perfect 
as possible, and destined one day to run smoothly without 
sound, or jar, or jerk. He snatches at the flash of a 
vision of what the world might be, of what it will be. 
For one second his eye and mind overleap the barriers of 
space and time, and for once in his life he understands 
the statement that when God looked down upon the 
world, ' behold it was very good.'. 

The sleep-giving, soothing fragrance of the resinous 
pine, cleanest, sweetest and most healing of all scents, 
fills the air. Far up above in the transparent sky two 
eagles are slowly circling. There is a drowsy, dull, 
contented hum of insects in the branches. All the 
senses are hushed and quieted, the nerves soothed, the 
soul steeped in the infinite beauty of the scene. And in 
truth a man is so wrought upon, his nerves are so excited, 
and at the same time so gently calmed — so many conflicting 
emotions are called up at once, so many different chords 
are struck and vibrate together, that he scarcely knows 
what to do or how to analyse and appreciate his feelings. 
At one moment he could sit for hours in solitude, acutely 
listening to the whispered messages of jSTature, absorbing 



THE WORSHIP OF NATURE. 231 

the life of the forest, drinking in God's glories. At 
another moment he is almost overcome ; the awful sense 
of the nearness of Nature is too much for him ; he feels 
as though he was sitting in the presence of some great 
Mystery. An unutterable longing to know more seizes 
his soul, mingled with an instinctive dread that the unfold- 
ing of the secret would be too much for mere mortal 
ears ; and he is possessed with an impulse to rush from 
the spot and escape from too close a contact with Nature, 
which he has not spiritual strength enough to bear. He 
can understand the feeling of Longfellow's Count Arnaldo 
in ' The Secret of the Sea,' where it says — 

His soul was full of longing, 
And he cried with accents strong : 
* Helmsman, for the love of Heaven, 
Teach me, too, that wondrous song ; ' 

or of the poet himself when in the same hymn he sings — 

Till my soul is full of longing 
For the secret of the sea. 
And the heart of the great ocean 
Sends a thrilling pulse through me. 

I think that men become half mesmerised when in 
lonely places they look upon some masterpiece of the 
great Architect of all things. They become partially 
ecstatic ; and it is a great and positive relief to break the 
charm by talking to somebody, and by doing or saying 
something to bring them back to the realities of ordinary 
life. 

We were very soon hurried out of fairy land by 
noticing the fact that the pine-trees were casting short 
shadows, and that it must be getting very late in the fore- 
noon. So we reluctantly went back to our horses, who 

R 2 



232 TRE GREAT DIVIDE. 

had been eating all the time, and in nowise thinking of 
or appreciating the scenic excellences about them ; and, 
tightening up our girths, we swung into the saddle and 
resumed our way. 

I never enjoyed a ride more in my life, and never ex- 
pect to have so pleasant a one again. The day was very 
bright and warm, and the hazy autumn atmosphere cast 
over distant objects a shimmering gauzy indistinctness 
that greatly enhanced their beauty. 

The country was throughout pretty. At every turn 
in the trail some fresh vista in the forest opened out, or 
some new distant view unfolded itself before our eyes. 
Woodpeckers tapped busily on the dead trees ; squirrels 
chattered as they shook down the pine-nuts, and, full of 
fun and mischief, peeped at us from their homes in the 
branches ; the few song-birds that are met with in 
American forests were singing, happy in the pleasant warmth 
of an Indian summer day. We had no pack-mules to 
bother ourselves about ; and with light hearts full of 
merriment, happy with the exhilaration of animal health, 
rejoicing in the sheer pleasure of being alive, we cantered 
over the level plain or wound in single file, our guns lying 
across the pommel in front of us, through the silent glades 
of the forest. The hours sped quickly by, for time does not 
hang heavy when all the senses are occupied with observ- 
ing and appreciating the various changes of scenery that 
constantly occur. Sometimes the trail followed the river, 
which flows, now rapidly and noisily over broad shallows, 
now with a swift but quiet current, through a deeper 
channel. Sometimes it turned into the forest and twined 
and twisted among its dark recesses, or traversed open 
glades and parks, apparently so well tended and cared 
for that one was constantly expecting to come in sight of 
some stately country house. 



AN ELK STALK. 233 

One very pretty view 1 remember well. I would 
have given much to have been able to sketch it. We 
were riding quietly along, and turning suddenly round a 
bend came upon a broad reach of the river, glassy, 
smooth, and deep — on either side the ground, turf- 
covered, level, and trim like a lawn, rolled upwards in 
long graceful curves, its open glades interspersed with 
trees, arranged by a hand more artistic than that of man. 
The upward sloping ground on either side of the water 
formed a perfect frame, in which was set in the far, far 
distance a great solitary scalped mountain, black with 
ravines and valleys, bright with sunshine, and capped 
with snow. 

Nor were we indebted to scenery alone for the plea- 
sures which we so thoroughly enjoyed this day. Wynne 
enlivened the road with humorous stories ; and many a 
song, composed and sung by some camp-fire in the 
Crimea, or in some far-away bivouac of India, rang 
through the forest and awakened the echoes. We were 
constantly on the look-out for game also, for signs were 
plentiful enough to keep us on the qui vive, and fish and 
fowl swarmed in the woods and water. Flocks of Canada 
geese and ducks rose splashing and flapping from the 
margin of the river, filling the air with their sonorous 
cries. When we rode by the brink the great trout 
wagged their broad tails at us as they slowly sailed from 
out the patches of green weed. We saw several indica- 
tions also of deer ; and on riding out of a wood on to a 
little plain covered with grey sage-brush we espied, not 
half a mile off, a large bull elk. Wynne and I determined 
to stalk him, so we dismounted, and Kingsley held the 
horses. 

The wind was all right, but, as the ground was very 
level, we had to crawl for a long way through the brush ; 



234 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

and after making ourselves very hot and dusty we were 
disgusted to find that the wapiti was on the other side of 
the river, which is here about 200 or 250 yards broad, 
and that the sage-brush which concealed us did. not grow 
down to the brink. So we sat down and looked at him, 
much to the Doctor's astonishment, for he could not see 
the water, but could see us and the stag, and wondered 
why on earth we did not crawl up and shoot. While 
we watched the stag went down to the river, drank a 
little, and then going back 100 yards or so lay down 
under a tree. We fired two shots at him ; the first one 
went just over his head, for we could see the bullet strike 
the dusty ground beyond. He did not take the slightest 
notice of it ; but the second shot struck him fairly in the 
heart and killed him where he lay. 

We wanted meat, and the head aj)peared to be a 
large one ; so I forded the river, and a very nasty job 
it was. The water was just of that depth that my 
horse could keep his feet and no more, and the river- 
bed was full of patches of quicksand, into which he sank, 
terrifying both himself and me into fits. The river was 
full of trout ; behind every bit of weed lay a fish of about 
two to four pounds weight ; and very much astounded they 
appeared to be at my intrusion : but I will warrant they 
were not a whit more alarmed at finding me among them 
than I was at finding myself in their society. Either 
walking or swimming I should not have minded ; but my 
pony's progress was a mixture of both, aggravated by an 
occasional violent flounder and struggle to extricate his 
feet from a quicksand. It took me, I am sure, more 
than half an hour to pick my way across that treacherous 
river ; and when I did get over I found that the stag was 
utterly worthless for food. He was reduced almost to a 
skeleton; his hair had all come off, and he presented a 



CRATER HILLS. 235 

most mangy, dissipated, dilapidated appearance ; but he 
carried an exceedingly fine pair of antlers ; so I cut off his 
head, and left it to be called for on our return. 

Having rejoined Kingsley we pushed on rapidly, passing 
several mounds and hills of white deposit, some extinct, 
others active and smoking briskly. 

Among these are the hot sulphur springs of ' Crater 
Hills,' so called from two detached hills or buttes of 150 
and 140 feet in height respectively. They are composed 
of the usual deposits of calcareous matter, largely impreg- 
nated with sulphur and iron. The surface has dried, 
cracked, and peeled off in scales and loose sinters, which 
have shd down and littered the base. 

The water in these springs contains a strong mixture 
of sulphuric acid. The table on p. 236 will supply all 
particulars of the principal springs at Crater Hills. 

We also passed, but did not stop at, two little streams 
flowing together, which Professor Hay den has named 
Alum and Violet Creeks. In speaking of them he 
says : — 

' The first spring we met with was on the right bank 
of the creek, in a silicious cone-like mound that rises 
six feet above the bed of the stream. Its tempera- 
ture was 126° F., the air being at 70° F. The bed 
of the creek was filled up with confer voidse, leading 
us to suspect that there were springs still further up. 
After a further ride of about a quarter of a mile we came 
to quite a large group of hot springs lining both sides of the 
creek. The first spring I will describe is on the right bank 
of the creek, in the centre of a white mound twenty feet in 
diameter, and rising ten feet above the bed of the creek. 
This mound is formed of the deposits from the water, 
which consist mainly of various carbonates and silica. 



SPRINGS AT CRATER HILLS. 

General elevation above sea-level 7,828 ft. ; boiling-point 198-2° F. 



Size of Spring 






10 
11 
12 
13 
14 
15 
16 
17 
18 
19 
20 

21 

22 
23 

24 
25 
26 
27 

28 
29 
30 
31 
32 
33 
34 
3o 
3( 

3: 

38 
39 
40 
41 
42 
43 
44 
45 
46 
47 
48 
49 



A collection of 
springs cover- 
ing an area of. 
600 sq. ft, andi 
varying in size ' 
from 1 to 3 ins. 
in diameter 

3 ft. diameter . 
8 ft. „ 

2 ft. diameter . 
8 X 2ft. . . . 



2 X 4 ft. . . 

10 X 3 ft. . 
2 ft. diameter 



These springs oc- 
cupy a space of 
about 1,200 sq. 
ft. 



174 

176 
182 
186 
144 
160 
168 
150 
160 

80 
148 
176 
180 

90 
162 
166 
182 
178 
108 
180 

170 

188 
180 

150 
184 
130 
170 
168 
184 
106 
154 
188 
160 
130 
162 
174 
128 
120 
106 
176 
146 
186 
168 
174 
178 
172 
90 
158 
170 



The water in this collection of springs 
has a milky hue, and the noise made 
by them resembles that made by a 
number of pots boiling simulta- 
neously. 



White sulphur spring. 

Clear spring. 

Thick greenish mud spring. 

Yellow mud spring in active ebullition, 

A turbid pool bubbling at the edges. 

A collection of greenish sulphur 
springs, each a few inches in di- 
ameter. 

This spring was called Foam Spring 
last year. 

Bluish muddy water. 
, Both these springs have lavender- 
. coloured mud, and No. 2 is in active 
I agitation. 



This collection of springs varies in 
size from a few inches to 4 ft. The 
water in the majority is of a milky 
hue ; in others it is yellow or laven- 
der-coloured, and in some it is trans- 
parent. 



ALUM AND VIOLET CREEKS. 237 

The orifice of the spring is circular, and about three inches 
in diameter, and looks as though it had been artificially 
punched in the deposit, so mathematically exact is it. 
The water gives off carbonic acid gas, leaving a deposit of 
iron. Its temperature was 190° F., the air being 70° F. 
Spring Ko. 2 is on the opposite side of the creek, and has 
a basin measuring four feet by two feet. The tempera- 
ture of the water was 160° F., the air remaining at 
70° F. No. 3 has a circular basin two feet in diameter, 
which is lined with an abundant deposit of iron ; car- 
bonic acid gas bubbles through the water. Its tempera- 
ture was 158° F. No. 4 is six feet deep, and one foot 
by three feet in diameter, and has a temperature of 
188° F. The next three springs had temperatures as 
follows:— No. 5, 192° F. ; No. 6, 194° F. ; and No. 
7, 188° F., the air still remaining at 70° F. All these 
springs have circular orifices of about six inches 
diameter, and the water proceeding from them flows over 
a series of small terraces, resembling those of the 
Gardiner's Eiver springs on a miniature scale. These 
basins are lined with a gelatinous form of silica, which 
has a leathery appearance, and is coated with an iron 
deposit. The springs are about ten feet above the level 
of the creek, and all give off carbonic acid gas. No. 8 is 
very irregular in shape, and almost hid in the grass about 
forty feet from the creek. There is a slight bubbling in 
it, and its temperature was 178° F. No. 9 is a small 
spring two feet in diameter and one foot deep, lined 
with confervoidee, and having a temperature of 140° F. 
No. 10 is a very pretty spring, about four feet above 
the creek, and has a beautiful scalloped edge, moss- 
lined on one side. Its temperature was 175° F. The 
boiling-point at this locality is 198'3° F. None of 
the springs reached this temperature, 194° F. being 



238 ' THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

the nearest approach. The rocks exposed near these 
springs are sedimentary, and contain a great deal of 
obsidian. 

' About three-fourths of a mile further up stream we 
came to the head of the creek, and found that it originated 
in a most important group of springs. They are situated 
in a semicircular basin, bounded by a low hill, wooded 
on the summit. The sides of this hill are perfectly bare, 
and covered with glaring white deposit, through which 
steam -jets force their way. Looking down into the basin 
from the top of the hill is like looking into a volcanic 
crater. The fumaroles, solfataras, and mud springs scat- 
tered through it give it a most peculiar appearance. The 
general colour throughout the basin is a glaring white, 
relieved here and there by patches of brick-red iron 
deposits, and the yellow of sulphur masses that are 
scattered throughout the basin. The crust extending 
over the basin is lined with beautiful crystals of sulphur. 
On the left of this basin is a ravine covered with deposits 
of the same character, but containing no springs. There 
are a few fumaroles remaining, the evidence that once 
the ravine was the site of active springs. A few yards on 
the opposite side of the basin there is a second ravine 
similar to the first, and in which also the springs are all 
dead, nothing remaining but the rust-coloured deposits. 
I give the different springs in this basin in tabular form 
(see opposite page). 

'Besides the springs enumerated in the table there 
were many smaller ones and a few large pools, through 
which the gases bubbled at various points. 

' On the way back to camp we came across another 
group of springs, about a mile south-east of the group 
given above, and which have an elevation about 200 feet 
lower. They are situated in a ravine bordering a small 



THERMAL DETAILS. 



239 



§ 






















1'-^ 


6;<M O? <M 


CM 


(M 


cq 


cq 


(M Cq 


fM 


c^ 


<?q 


(M 


ft=M 


o t^ t^ t> 


t- 


t^ 


t^ 


t>. 


l> t- 


!>- 


i>. 


t^ 


t>. 


a" 






















H 






















e^ 






f3 
















11 


q/ lo oq -* 
^00 t^ oi 


■^ 


1 


lO 


o 


O <M 


GO 


X 


o 


O 


a 




CO 


t- 


Til CO 


CO 


00 


00 


Oi 


go 






O 


r— 1 




1— 1 I— 1 


I— ( 




rH 










a 


. 




. 


. 














O) 






















bo 






















o 






















}-i 






















'^ 






















>^ 






















r^ 






















TIJ 






















<D 
















1 






















>; 






















o 






















> 






















W 






rSi 
















§ 






^ 
















C5 


* • * 




3 

1 


* 


• 


• 


* 


* 




• 




1 o d 

J « « 


6 


1 


d 


d 


d d 


d 


d 


d 


d 




Q 




P 


« 


P P 


p 


P 


P 


P 




:» 




m 
























• 


• 






• 




• 








u 


ti 












a 


s 


■ I 1 




-2 








* 






<o 


M 


Oi Oi 






s 




<D 






Qi 




^ a g 




eS 


2 




S -M 




bo 


a 


^ 
S 




t^ r^ ro 






'^ 


-u 

J 


-.5 ^ 


1 


J 






O ^ -M 




<v 


a> 




^J o 




-t^ 




pd 




I— i a> <D 




o 




X 


«S X 


CO 
X 


% 
cS 


«2 


.3 




00 CO <M 




§ 


CO 


(?^ 


CX) ip 


r— 1 


CO 


Tji 


cq 










• 


• 




• 


• 


• 






































































m 














bo 




bo 




o 












. bo 


9 


bo 


•s 


bo 


^ 












c 




C 


Ph 


.2 


-2 












^ 


02 


P- 


r^ 


Ph 


cS 










bo 


. M 


TIJ 


m 




m 


6 


1 a ^- 


^ 




i 




11 

m p 


;3 


n3 

p 


p 


6 


rH (^^ 00 


^ 


O 


CO 


I>- 


OO Oi 


o 


r-« 


(M 


CO 


^ 
















rH 




I— 1 



240 



THE GREAT DIVIDE. 



branch of Violet Creek. The following table will show 
them all at a glance : — 

SPRINGS ON BRANCH OF VIOLET CREEK. 

Aug. 10, 1872, time 2 p.m. ; elevation above the sea 7,873 feet ; boiling-point 198-5° F. 



No. 


Size 


Gas Evolved 


Temperature 
of Air 


Temperature 
of Spring 








°P. 


°F. 


1 


3x4 feet . 


Carbonic acid and steam 


68 


160 


2 


10 feet diameter 


» , 


68 


184 


3 


5 feet diameter 


V }} 


68 


154 


4 


5x2 feet . 


V V 


68 


188 


5 


3 feet diameter 


11 "J 


68 


180 


6 


5 X 3 feet . . 


V 1} V 


68 


191 


7 


7 X 3 feet . . 


)) J) )J 


68 


186 


8 


3 feet diameter 




68 


192 


9 


8 X 1 foot . . 


)1 )J )) 


68 


194 



The amount of carbonic acid gas given off from these 
springs is small, and although there is considerable bub- 
bling in some of the springs, it is caused mostly by the 
escape of steam. This, in some, is enough to cause the 
ground to tremble beneath. All the springs deposit iron. 
The first three springs given in the table are on the edge 
of a pool of water having a diameter of 100 feet by 
50 feet, in which the thermometer stood at 120° P. 
There is also one spring in the midst of this pool 
which was beyond reach. The bottom of the pool is 
lined with gelatinous silica, which is coated with oxide of 
iron. The edge of the pool next the creek slopes to the 
level of the stream in a series of small basins, over which 
the water flows. The creek itself is divided into a number 
of basins formed of the deposits (mostly carbonates), and 
the water flows from one basin to the other, they being 
at different levels. These basins are filled with a luxu- 
riant growth of very bright green confervoidse. The 
temperature of the water in the creek a short distance 
below the springs is 140° F.' 



THE MUD SPRINGS. 241 

It is scarcely necessary for me to say that when we 
arrived at the Mud Springs we found that the principal 
geyser had just finished spouting, and that the water in 
the basin was rapidly subsiding. However, we had three 
or four hours to spare, so we tethered our horses and sat 
down patiently to watch. In about an hour's time we 
were joined by the outfit. This was a very lucky acci- 
dent, for if they had not passed that way we might have 
been sitting at the Mud Springs till now. We never 
should have found camp, for the trail which Boteler 
said would lead us to it existed only in his imagination. 
After waiting a little to rest the animals, Boteler went 
on, telling us to turn sharp to the west and follow his 
trail. 

The principal spring in this group is a basin of about 
100 feet in circumference, situated within a larger basin. 
The sides and surrounding surface are composed of bare 
smooth mud, baked by the sun, and worn into little 
channels by the, action of the water, which when we arrived 
was trickling back into the basin from which it had been 
hurled by the last explosion. While we watched, the 
water in the inner orifice sank until there was but a little 
thick muddy liquid left at the bottom, and then it began 
slowly to rise again. 

There we sat for hours, a ludicrous-looking group, 
three men and a dog gazing earnestly at a lot of mud 
which slowly, slowly rose, while the sun rapidly sank. 
I suppose, acting on the principle that a watched pot never 
boils, this geyser sternly refused to do its duty. It 
would not get angry. Every now and then a slight 
spasm would shake its placid, muddy countenance, but it 
was rather, I think, a smile of derision than a grin of rage 
that crossed it. We abused that spring in every way in 
our power. We threw sticks into it and stones, but it 



242 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

was no use ; nothing would rile it ; and at length, when 
we could count only upon an hour's light, we were forced 
to leave and look for camp. Very lucky it was that we 
did not delay any longer, for we had not gone 500 yards 
before we utterly lost the trail of our outfit. They had turned 
on to a prairie, baked as hard as iron and covered with per- 
fectly dry wiry grass, on which the animals' feet left no 
impression whatever. We knew the direction they had 
gone, and that was all ; but whether they had traversed 
the prairie, or turned into the forest that bordered it, we 
could not tell. However, there was no time to waste in 
hunting the trail ; so, sticking spurs into our horses, we 
galloped along due west. The sun sank and the night 
fell ; there was no sign either of trail or camp, and we 
began to think that we might make up our minds to go 
supperless and blanketless to sleep that night, when, to 
our great satisfaction, we saw a little glimmer of light 
reflecting on the white canvas of the tents, and found 
camp comfortably placed in a nice sheltered nook just at 
the edge of the forest. It was the second time I had 
had a scare that day, for in the morning I somehow got 
separated from my two companions, and could not find 
them for a couple of hours. 

It is a very mean feeUng to be all alone and to fancy 
one's self lost; nothing so quickly upsets a man's 
mental equihbrium. I have been most fortunate (in a 
good hour be it spoken), and have never yet got out 
of my reckoning without getting in again pretty soon. 
The nearest I have ever come to being lost was in the 
neighbourhood of Fort Bridger. It happened in this 
way. 

Camp was on a creek running into one of the tributa- 
ries of Green Eiver, and into this creek flowed several 
little rills. On the banks of one of these small branches, 



ALL ABROAD! 243 

about half a mile up from its junction with the creek, we 
had slept on our way to Henry's Fork, where we had been 
looking for wapiti. We w^ere now on the return journey, 
and had pitched our tents on the borders of the creek 
some distance above the old camping-ground I have just 
mentioned. The country about there is very heavily 
timbered, and consists of endless ridges, all much the 
same in appearance. Very few distinguishing landmarks 
break the uniformity of the forest. Well, our guide. Old 
Man Smith, and I went out one morning to look for deer, 
and hunted all the forenoon along a little rivulet, a tribu- 
tary of the creek. About noon Smith went home, telling 
me to leave the watercourse and to keep about south. If 
I did so, he said, I should pass through a good hunting- 
ground, and could not go astray, as I should strike the 
springs of the little stream beside which we had camped 
on the way up. So, acting on his advice, I plunged into 
a forest so thick that I could barely see enough of the sun 
to keep my course correctly. After hunting along diligently 
for an hour or two I came across some dry coules. I fol- 
lowed them down going west, and after awhile came to 
stagnant pools and then to flowing water. ' All right,' 
thought I ; ' this is the creek sure enough.' As I descended 
the stream the banks became very steep and rough, and 
much encumbered with fallen trees. The water had in 
many places been dammed up by beavers, and impene- 
trable marshes had been formed that necessitated tedious 
detours. I made slow progress, and, as it was getting 
late, determined to strike into the timber in a north-west 
direction and so make a short cut to camp. But I came 
across such an awful windfall that I could make no head- 
way, and was forced to abandon that attempt and return 
to the stream. 

This term ' windfall ' is used technically, to describe 



244 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

those streaks and patches of dense forest in which the 
trees, by some sudden gust or blast uprooted, have fallen to 
the ground, or, locked in each other's branches, form a 
half standing, half falling network of limbs and boughs. 
It is impossible for a man who has not seen it to imagine 
the inextricable confusion of a windfall. 

The travelHng improved a little and I pushed on 
rapidly, running whenever I could, and expecting at 
every moment to see in the distance the hills bound- 
ing the main creek. But, no ; I was doomed to constant 
disappointment. Every ridge that I took to be the high bank 
of the principal stream turned out, on approaching it, to 
be merely a bend in the rivulet I was descending. From 
what Old Man Smith told me, I had calculated the length 
of the little creek from its source to our old camp, and I 
judged I must have travelled at least twice that distance. 
Quite blown and out of breath I stopped, and it flashed 
across me that I was on the wrong creek, and that I was 
lost. There was no use in my arguing with myself that 
I had been going in the right direction, and that my course, 
though very zigzaggy, was in the main correct ; that Old 
Man Smith had said that the first water was the right one, 
and that I could not have missed it. I knew that a quarter, 
or at any rate half, the distance I had travelled ought to 
have brought me out at the main creek, and I felt that I . 
was lost. I reflected a moment. Where could this 
stream be flowing to ? I had no acquaintance with the 
geography of the country, beyond a vague idea that 
the little rills all ran into creeks, that united in two 
or three larger creeks, which in their turn discharged into 
Green River. Supposing that I followed this down, and 
then followed the creek it discharged into down to Green 
Eiver, whereabouts would I strike it ? Kear the Green 
River railway crossing, or far below ? How long would 



A PERPLEXING POSITION. 245 

it take me to get to tlie railway ? For how many days 
would I have to wander and fast ? Besides, was I certain 
that there was no other watershed ? Did all the streams 
and creeks flow into Green Eiver ? Might I not fall upon 
some tributary which, flowing with a course nearly paral- 
lel to the main river, would lead me through hundreds of 
miles of dismal desert ? I tried to think composedly, but 
could not. 

My head turned ; my brain became quite bewildered ; 
and an impulse to run straight ahead seized me. I was, 
to use the vernacular, for the moment completely ' turned 
round.' It seems to me most absurd, as I sit here writing, 
to suppose that one could be so easily thrown, even for 
an instant, off one's balance ; but all men, except those 
who by long custom have acquired habits of complete 
self-dependence and self-control, are hable to such tem- 
porary aberrations — for it almost amounts to that; — and 
I have even seen very old and experienced prairie men 
become quite ' turned round ' after running elk, and so 
obstinate in their conviction that they were going right, 
when in reality the fact that they were moving in a totally 
wrong direction was clearly demonstrated by compass, 
that it required a strong effort on their part to force 
themselves to act according to the needle and not upon 
their own mistaken judgment. 

However, I was not so stupid long; I had sense 
enough to know that I must on no account leave the 
water, and I determined to believe that, though I was 
certainly on the wrong stream, yet no doubt it ran 
somewhere or other into the right creek. And so, as I 
did not seem capable of reasoning my way out just then, 
and as the sun was very low, I made up my mind to camp 
right there. Accordingly, I shot a squirrel for supper, 
picked a dry spot to sleep on, gathered a lot of branches 
s 



246 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

together, and, having thus provided food and fire, 
thought I would take one more good look around. I 
mounted the highest ridge close by, but could see nothing. 
On the top was a tall pine-tree. I climbed that, and be- 
held right in front of me a distinct unmistakable ridge 
cutting at right angles across the direction of my valley. 
Hooray ! I said to myself ; the stream runs into something 
anyhow ; and, as it cannot be more than a couple of miles 
to that ridge, I may as well chance it and go down to the 
mouth. And so I pocketed my squirrel, left my fire, and 
made tracks at best pace down stream. I had not gone 
very far before I saw the impression of a boot-heel in the 
sand. That's all right, thought I ; and chucking away my 
squirrel I cheerily walked on, for I knew I must be close 
to the old camp. A few hundred yards further on I 
found it, followed our old trail into the waggon-track 
leading to the saw-mill, and plodded along that road till I 
got to camp. 

I had been right enough all the time ; the only trouble 
was that the little stream was much longer, and made a 
great deal more southing than, judging by Smith's 
description, I had supposed it did. 

Of course, when they said in camp that they had been 
getting anxious and had thought of looking for me, light- 
ing fires, firing guns, and all the rest of it, I laughed the 
idea to scorn. I wasn't going to get lost, not I ; they 
might bet their ' bottom dollars ' about that. I did not tell 
them what a fix I had been in, or that I had considered 
it necessary to collect my fuel and kill my supper. 

The most extraordinary instance that has come under 
my notice of a man being lost for a length of time and 
surviving, occurred in this very Yellowstone country. 

From a detailed account of his adventures, written by 
himself and pubhshed in Scribners Magazine, it appears 



A THRILLING TALE. 247 

that in August, 1870, Mr. Evarts, formerly United States 
assessor for Montana, joined a numerous company about 
to visit the Geyser region. One day, while the party 
were with difficulty unravelling their way through thick 
forests, and the members of it had all scattered out in 
search of a practicable path, Mr. Evarts strayed so far 
away that he lost touch of his companions altogether. It 
was late, and being unable to rejoin them he was com- 
pelled to camp out alone on that night. This occurred 
close to the lake. 

The next day Mr. Evarts resumed his search, and 
seeing, as he thought, some indications of a trail, he dis- 
mounted to examine the ground more carefully, and 
neglected to secure his horse. Something or other 
happened to scare the animal ; and, his attention attracted 
by a crashing in the brush, Mr. Evarts looked up just in 
time to catch a glimpse of his horse disappearing through 
the trees. The loss of his horse was in itself a terrible 
disaster ; but that was not all, for on the saddle were his 
gun, matches, blanket, fishing-tackle, and all the other 
appliances which render a man comparatively safe and 
self-supporting in the midst of the wilderness. He never 
saw the horse again, and for thirty-five days after that 
fatal parting this unfortunate gentleman wandered 
alone, through woods and over mountains, totally un- 
armed, and with no other instruments or appliances than 
two knives and a pair of small field-glasses. Strange 
to say, he allowed himself almost to perish daily, for 
want of fire, for nearly a fortnight, before he thought 
of kindling one by means of the lenses of his glasses. 
One of the fearfully cold storms which suddenly arise 
in these latitudes came on, and he would have suc- 
cumbed to cold and exposure had he not managed to 
reach a group of hot springs. As it was, he was severely 

s 2 



248 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

frosted on both feet. In tliat neighbourhood he re- 
mained seven days, keeping himself warm by lying on 
the hot incrustation surrounding a httle boiling spring, in 
which he cooked an insignificant supply of roots. 

The day before his rescue he lost his glasses 
also ; an additional misfortune which nearly overthrew 
the slight remnant of life and reason which still held out 
against the fatal effects of his prolonged and unparalleled 
sufferings. At an earlier stage of his advenmres he had 
even lost his knives. In fact, after commencing with his 
horse, he lost everything of use that he had with him ; 
and the only marvel is that he did not lose his head also, 
and his life. 

As he had become separated from the outfit on a 
peninsula of the Yellowstone Lake, round which they 
were making their way, Mr. Evarts took a direction 
which he thought would cut across this peninsula at right 
angles, and bring him out on the shores ahead of the 
party. He did emerge upon the sandy beach of a lake ; 
but it was not the lake he was searching for ; it w^as 
another sheet of water altogether. 

Here he found some edible thistles, and tasted food 
for the first time in four days ; and upon an exceedingly 
scanty supply of these roots, grass, and leaves, he 
managed to subsist for thirty-one days more. The only 
animal food that he contrived to get consisted of one 
wretched little fowl no bigger than a snow-bunting, 
which, as it was benumbed with cold, he succeeded in 
capturing, and the tip of a sea-gull's wing which he 
picked up. It strikes one as very singular that he could 
not snare or kill with sticks and stones something to eat 
in the shape of squirrels, birds, mice, or badgers. But it 
is easy to talk when one is not in a fix at all, and to think 
of all the ingenious contrivances one would have in- 



SINGULAR VALUE OF RED TAPE. 240 

vented. When it comes to the point, I dare say the 
captious critic of his actions would starve as soon as 
anybody else. I don't want to try it at any rate. I 
have no doubt an old mountain man would have procured 
food somehow ; but Mr. Evarts must have been entirely 
unaccustomed to a wild life, else he never would have 
lost his horse, left his rifle on the saddle when he dis- 
mounted, or gone about without a supply of matches in 
his pocket. This, however, adds much to the interest 
of his story, and enhances the marvellousness of his 
escape. 

While waiting at the hot springs for fine weather, he 
manufactured a knife out of the tongue of a buckle, and 
made a fishing-line and hook out of some red tape and a 
pin. This is probably the only instance on record of red 
tape proving of the slightest use to anybody. He subse- 
quently lost all these articles in a forest fire. He tried to 
make another fish-hook out of the rim of a pair of 
broken spectacles, but failed. Mr. Evarts was certainly the 
most unfortunate man that ever was lost. Everything 
that could happen to him did occur. His feet were 
badly frozen ; he lost all he had originally, and everything 
that he made ; he even got rid of one of his shoes ; he 
slipped into some boiling water and scalded his hip 
severely ; and it was apparently his nightly custom to 
tumble into the fire and burn himself. He left the group 
of springs on the eighth day, and returned to the lake. 
Here he stumbled upon a camping-ground of his party, 
and found an old baking-powder tin and a fork. He did 
not attempt to follow the trail, but started in the right 
direction for Bozeman. He made but little progress and 
wandered for many days, gradually becoming weaker and 
weaker, until he was discovered in the last stag^e of 
exhaustion, about seventy miles from Fort Ellis, by two 



250 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

men who had been sent out to hunt for him. One of 
them started immediately for medical assistance from the 
Fort, while the other remained with Mr. Evarts, who in 
two days was capable of being moved to a miner's cabin, 
twenty miles distant. But there he nearly perished, for 
though the miners most carefully tended and watched 
him, and did everything in their power to alleviate his 
sufferings, they had not the medicines necessary for his 
condition. A thirty-five days' diet on tough fibrous roots 
had completely arrested all the digestive functions of the 
body, and he would most undoubtedly have died had not 
an old hunter and trapper happened to pass by. This 
man, who had probably been many times starved himself, 
knew exactly what was the matter, and fortunately he 
had also the means of overcoming the evil. From the 
fat of a bear he had recently killed he tried out a pint of 
clear oil, and administered the draught to Mr. Evarts. 
This had the desired effect, and rest and good food com- 
pleted the cure. I envy Mr. Evarts the strength of his 
brain. How he contrived not to go entirely and irreco- 
verably mad I cannot imagine. His understanding must be 
strong indeed. Comparatively early in his wanderings, 
he experienced, to use his own words, ' one of those 
strange hallucinations which many of my friends have 
misnamed insanity, but which was to me Providence.' 
An old clerical friend seemed to appear to him, and 
authoritatively ordered him to take a certain direction. 
Eeluctantly, for it was quite contrary to his own convic- 
tions, he followed the advice of his ghostly companion, 
and was saved ; but whether or not, he could have 
succeeded in carrying out his own intention of crossing 
the mountains to Virginia City, it is of course impossible 
to say. 

Later on his mind became much affected. The different 



GHOSTLY COUNSEL. 251 

members and portions of his body segregated themselves 
into separate and distinct individualities and identities, 
who accompanied him as companions, and with whom he, 
to his great satisfaction, kept up a constant conversation. 
Yet during this time he was able to reason consistently 
and sensibly about his condition, the route he ought to 
take, and his chances of winning out, and to think per- 
fectly naturally of his home ties and affections. Alto- 
gether it is a wonderful history, and one worthy of notice, 
as exemplifying what an incredible amount of hardship, 
cold, and starvation the human frame is capable of en- 
during, and showing what apparently insurmountable 
obstacles and difficulties a man can overcome, if only he 
can manage to retain even a partial mastery over his 
mind and reason. 

But to return to the subject of Mud Volcanoes. 
Though disappointed on our first visit, we on another 
occasion saw two or three eruptions of the principal 
spring. 

The water gradually rises till the inner basin is quite 
full, becoming more and more agitated as it flows. It 
then gives one or two convulsive heaves, dashing the 
waves violently against the sides, recovers itself for a few 
minutes, and next with still more violent throes it goes 
off, casting mud and water about twenty or thirty feet 
high. Then occurs a momentary lull, after which the 
explosions continue with increased vigour. The whole 
operation lasts about ten minutes ; after which the 
water gradually subsides and falls to the bottom of the 
basin. 

There is something very comical in the appearance of 
these great pots of bubbling, splashing, and explosive 
mud ; something almost grotesque in the manner they 



252 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

cast high into the air masses of clay and tons of dirty 
water. 

Eound about this central group are a great many 
mud springs ; some large, some small, some intermittent 
and resembling the specimen described, some constant 
in their action hke the Giant's Cauldron and the Grotto. 
The former of these two volcanoes is situated on the hill- 
side, m a little ravine. It has a very large orifice, about 
forty feet in diameter and thirty feet in depth. This 
Cauldron is filled with thin mud in a state of most fear- 
fully wild commotion, boiling, spitting, and spluttering 
like a pot full of stirabout screeching hot. The roar of 
it can be heard at a considerable distance, and the steam 
of it ascends in a dense column to heaven. A slight 
smell only of sulphuretted hydrogen is noticeable here, 
but with many of these mud springs not only does the 
steam ascend to heaven, but the stench also. 

The Grotto is a cavern extending almost laterally, 
but with a slight downw^ard inclination, into the side 
of the hill. It is situated close to the river. The 
mouth is about five feet in diameter, and it is full of 
clear water, madly boiling, and in a state of most violent 
gaseous ebullition. The steam from it is so hot that you 
cannot approach it. 

The following extract from Mr. A. C. Peak's field- 
notes will give a more accurate account of an eruption of 
the principal mud volcano than can be gathered from 
my description of it : — 

A.M. August 12tll. 

6.19. The Geyser has evidently had an eruption during the night. The 

basin is full and the centre in ebullition. 
6.31. The eruption commences. 
6.35. There is a lull. 



( 



AN EXPLOSIVE GROTTO. 



253 



A.M. 

6.42. 



10.19. 



10.29. 

10.49. 

10.55. 

10.58. 

11.2. 

11.8. 

11.15. 
11.20. 
11.24. 

to 
11.29. 

11.39. 



August 12tli. 

The eruption ends. The maximum height was 25 feet^ and I noticed 
that the ground shook beneath me while the eruption was 
going on. 

The temperature of the water at the edge of the basin is 148° F., and 
the air is 60° F. The centre is bubbling, and a black oily sub- 
stance floats on the siu-face. 

The temperature of the water is from 140° F. to 180° F., and it is 
rapidly Ailing the basin. 

The eruption commences. 

There is a lull. 

The maximum, 18 feet, is attained. 

The eruption ends. 

The temperature at the edge of the basin is 170° F. ; air 60° F. The 
water has fallen a foot already. 

Water 150° F. ; air 60° F. The water has fallen 18 inches. 

The water has fallen 5 inches since the last measurement. 

The w^ater still has a temperature of 150° F., and has fallen 2 feet 
10 inches. 

The water has fallen 3 feet 2 inches since the eruption ceased 
(lowest point). 



The annexed table gives the results of the observa- 
tions taken in connection with this spring v — 







c 


g ^ 


^^ 


S 


% 




■-g 


g 


% § 


11 


il 


W) 


Data 






II 




il 


1 








QJ J=. 


OJ O C 




*M 








■*^ +3 


-t^ O CS 




o3 




'^ 


>3 


c 


H 


c 


S 






M. S. 


H. M. S. 


M. 


M. 


FEET. 


August 9 


1st 


12 30 





6 


3 


25 


., 9 


2nd 


13 00 


4 5 30 


6 


3 


30 


„ 11 


3rd 


13 00 





6 


4 


40 


„ 11 


4th 


13 00 


4 18 00 








20 


„ 12 


5th 


11 00 





4 





25 


,, 12 


6th 


13 00 


4 7 00 


6 


3 


18 


V 12 


7th 


12 00 


4 13 00 


6 


4 


22 


„ 12 


8th 


12 00 


4 12 00 


5 


4 


19 



254 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

H. M. S. 

Average length of eruption 12 26.75. 

Average intervals "between eruptions . . . 4 11 6. 

Average interval between commencement and lull . 5 34.28. 

Average interval between lull and maximmu .0 3 30. 

On the opposite page T submit a tabular statement, 
for wliich I am indebted to the same writer, of the 
several springs at Mud Volcanoes. 

The water in the river near the springs, and in fact 
everywhere above the Falls, must be greatly impregnated 
with various mineral substances, and its temperature con- 
siderably raised by the constant streams of hot water and 
mud that are poured into it. 

The trout inhabiting its clear depths are exceedingly 
large and fine to look at, and will take a fly or any other 
sort of bait voraciously ; but they are almost useless for 
food, being with few exceptions full of intestinal insects. 
The ghosts of digested worms seem to have revenged' 
themselves on the living fish here, for instead of being 
devoured by the trout, the trout afford food for them. 
Some people eat these fish, and say that they are very 
good ; but I have never been hungry enough to get over 
the feehng of repugnance caused by the presence of these 
parasites. 

The worms are found, not only in the intestines, but 
in the solid flesh also; and vary in length and size, the 
largest being about six inches long. From the scars on 
the outside of the fish it would seem as if the insects ate 
their way completely through them. Occasionally you 
meet with a trout that has escaped the plague, and he is 
then bright, broad, thick-shouldered, and a very hand- 
some fish ; but when the worms are very numerous he 
becomes a long, lanky, dull-coloured, ugly-looking brute. 

The prevalence of these parasites must be due to the 
warmth of the water, or to the presence of the various 



SPKINGS AT MUD VOLCANOES. 

General elevation above sea-level, 7,775 feet ; boiling-point, 198-5° F. 



No. 


Size of Spring 


1^^ 


HO 


Time of 
Observation 


Remarks 






°F. 


°p. 






1 


3 feet diameter 


190 


50 




Very thick mud spring. 
f These springs are in the 


2 


10 feet diameter 


168 


50 


I 3.35 p.m. 


J same basin with the 


3 


10 feet diameter 


168 


50 


j Mud Geyser, but en- 












[ tirely distinct from it. 


4 


6 feet diameter 


126 


48 


4.35 p.m. 


At head of ravine, 250 
yards above the Mud 

Geyser. 


5 


15 X 5 feet 


156 


48 


5.00 p.m. 


Thirty-five himdred feet 
from No. 4, in same 
ravine at the head. 
There are here some 
extinct basins and 
vents for steam. 


6 


75 feet diameter 


134 


58 


11.20 a.m. 


A large green sulphur 
pool, with many cen- 






















tres of ebullition 












giving off sulphur 
hydrogen. 
Lavender - coloured 


7 


3 feet diameter 


136 


58 


11.23 a.m. 












spring, containing 












alum. 


8 


12 X 20 feet 


88 


58 


11.25 a.m. 


Yellow sulphur spring, 

about 14ft. from No. 7. 

f This group is in a ravine 


9 


60 X 20 feet 


140 


58 


11.30 a.m. 


1 near the Giant's Caul- 
1 dron. No. 9 is on the 


10 


2 feet diameter 


124 


58 


11.30 a.m. 


<( edge of No. 8, and has 
j clear water, with 


11 


3x1 foot 


140 


58 


11.30 a.m. 


1 confervoidse lining 
[ the stream. 


12 


Grotto, 3 feet high, 
8 feet wide, 20 
feet deep 


182 


58 


11.45 a.m. 


The grotto is an opening 
into a sand-stone rock 
at the head of a small 
ravine. Thetopofthe 
entrance resembles a 
Gothic arch, coated 
with moss and iron. 
Steam escapes in pul- 
sations. 


13 


30 X 15 feet 


94 


58 


11.46 a.m. 


A greenish alum pool. 


14 


2 feet diameter 


180 


58 


11.48 a.m. 


A pool a few feet above 
No. 13. 


15 


20 feet diameter 


163 


58 


11.60 a.m. 


Light grey mud spring, 
10 feet' deep. There 
are others too deep to 
get temperature. 


16 


Pool 500x60 feet 


92 


58 


11.50 a.m. 


y Sulphur springs. 


17) 

18/ 


Small holes, 1 \ 
inch diameter J 


148 


58 


11.51 a.m. 


172 


58 


11.52 a.m. 


19 




182 


68 


11.55 a.m. 


Mud spring. 



256 



THE GREAT JDIVIJDE. 



mineral substances in solution ; for it is remarkable that, 
whereas such a thing as a trout entirely free from them 
is almost unknown above the Falls, I have never heard of 
a wormy fish being taken below them, or even between 
the upper and lower cascades. 




AN INDIAN AND HIS HORSE. 



267 



CHAPTEE VII. 

NEARING THE END. 

Meat had been growing very scarce for the last few days. 
We had scraped clean the bones of the antelope we 
packed with us from Gardiner's Eiver, and afterwards 
boiled them into soup ; and we had killed nothing on the 
march except wapiti stags, which at this time of year are 
not fit to eat ; so we determined to halt, for a day 
at any rate, and endeavour to replenish the larder. 
Accordingly, the next morning before light we all went 
out — each taking a different direction — to look for game ; 
scanning the ground and peering through the trees, with 
the eagerness not only of hunters, but of hungry men. 
But no distant rifle-shot, bearing tidings of dinner, broke 
the silence of the morning air, or echoed ' supper ' 
through the glades ; and about nine o'clock the hunters 
returned tired and dejected, all with the same story to 
tell ; plenty of old sign, but not a single fresh track, and 
nothing whatever eatable to be seen. So we hurriedly 
broke camp and moved about five miles, to a little branch 
rising among some old beaver dams ; and there pitched 
our tents again, it being the last water to be found on the 
north side of the divide which separated us from the 
Fire Hole Basin. 

Again we all went out for an evening hunt, buoyed 
up with emptiness and hope ; but our exertions were 



268 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

attended witli the same result. I soon made up my 
mind that there was no game then in the country ; and 
finding a pool in a little stream that was full of small 
trout, I turned to and caught three or four dozen little 
fellows only about four to six inches long, but in very 
good condition and first-rate to eat. None of the others 
had returned when I got back to camp ; and as they 
straggled in singly I anxiously watched their distant 
forms to see if any of them bent under the weight of a 
deer. But, no J They all walked erect, and we had to go 
to bed again with our guns full and our insides tolerably 
empty. 

A council of war held that night resulted in four of 
us — Boteler, Wynne, Kingsley, and myself — starting for the 
Geyser Basin. We took one mule only with us to carry 
our blankets, small tent, and provisions, such as there were, 
for a few days. We left the rest of the outfit where they 
lay, with Texas Jack to take care of them and to hunt 
during our absence. The mule we took with us, by 
name Jack, was the best of the lot. He was a most 
marvellous animal, gifted with an amount of sense, and 
wdth a power of judging distances to a mathematical 
nicety, that were wonderful to see. Moreover, he was 
patient, strong, wise, willing, and good-humoured : — 
this last quality is not often to be met with in mules. 

Jack could keep up a long swinging trot all day, if 
not overloaded. He would ascertain, by some means best 
known to himself, the exact width of his pack, and would 
measure his distance between the trees to an inch, run- 
ning through apertures that looked far too narrow for 
him, but never striking or getting jammed. He had some 
extraordinary method also of determining the height of 
his pack, and could tell precisely whether he could 
pass under an overhanging bough without stooping, and, if 



A MULE OF MATHEMATICAL PROCLIVITIES. 259 

not, how much he would have to stoop. If necessary, 
without pausing for a moment in his trot, he would 
double-down until his belly almost touched the ground, 
and wriggle himself through under a fallen tree in the 
most ludicrous manner. It is no easy task for a man, 
even though he be accustomed to the mountains and the 
forests, to make his way through the matted labyrinth of 
these primeval woods ; and Boteler, with all his know- 
ledge and all his instinct — with the acquired ease and 
natural facility that spring from constant habit — found it 
impossible to make anything like a straight trail through 
the tangle, and had not unfrequently to turn back com- 
pletely arrested by some impenetrable windfall. 

But through such places, if they were practicable at all. 
Jack would run, jump, climb, or crawl, picking his way 
without pause or comment. His faculty of stooping under 
branches, though very useful at times, was inconvenient 
when he was required as a riding animal. He would 
forget for a moment that he had not a tall pack upon 
his back, and in passing under some leaning tree, to 
avoid which the rider would merely stoop his head, not 
expecting for a moment that the mule would stoop also, 
down he would go, and with a twist and wriggle of his 
body writhe himself under the supposed obstacle, much 
to his rider's surprise and discomfort. 

Our path lay for some little distance along the verge 
of an old lake-bed, now a grass-covered prairie ; and 
then, striking into the timber, it crossed a low divide into 
the valley system of the Fire Hole, or east fork of the 
Madison Eiver. Before crossing the divide we passed a 
few old wigwams, remains of encampments of sheep- 
eaters. These were the last indications of Indians that 
we saw, for the natives are afraid of the Geyser Basins, 
and do not venture into that locality at all. 



260 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

Beyond the watershed the ground is exceedingly 
soft, treacherous, and boggy, traversed by streams of 
hot water, which are by no means easy to cross ; and we 
had much trouble in keeping a direct course. As we 
advanced, the appearance of the country became more 
and more strange and interesting. We were near the 
end of our pilgrimage. We were in the lower Fire Hole 
Basin. 

Presently we rode out into a little grassy plain of 
perhaps 1,500 or 2,000 acres, a perfectly level bay of 
the comparatively level plain of some thirty square miles 
that composes the East Madison Basin ; and pulling up 
our horses we stopped to look round. Close at hand 
were two untenanted tents, and some very good-looking 
horses in first-rate condition were picketed hard by. 
Our stock was very poor, whereas these animals were fat ; 
ours were giving out, and some of them showed strong 
symptoms of breaking down altogether, while these were 
strong and capable of doing hard work. There was 
nobody looking. The epidemic of the country seized us 
in all its virulence. Horse-steaUng is in the air in the 
West, and if a stranger is not careful he may catch it. 
But we restrained ourselves ; whether from a fear of com- 
mitting a breach of morality, or from an indistinct idea 
that somebody might be observing us with a six-shooter 
handy, I do not pretend to say. 

In front of us lay a circular plain, grass-covered at 
the extremities nearest to us, but bare towards the centre 
where the surface seemed to be composed of clay. To 
the west rose a low, massive Jiiesa^ black as Night and 
draped with forest ; across the eastern sky stretched the 
high timbered ridge forming the divide we had just 
crossed ; and to the north and south the unbroken forest 
rolled up to the verge of the prairie. It had been 



A WEIRD SPECTACLE. 261 

drizzling all the morning ; the day was very damp and 
still ; and from the margin of the prairie, and from many 
places among the pine-trees, rose in the heavy atmo- 
sphere dense white vertical colmnns of steam. The sight 
was novel and very impressive. The thickly-growing 
small pine-trees flourished to the very edge of the open 
space, fringing it with a symmetrical clearly-defined line. 
It looked as though a giant with a cheese-scoop had 
taken a sample of the country ; as if a great patch of 
land had suddenly fallen through. It gave one an 
impression that some horrible catastrophe had happened, 
— that some modern Cities of the Plain had been over- 
whelmed, and had so lately sunk amid flames into the 
bowels of the earth that the smoke of their ruins was 
still ascending through white heaps of smouldering ashes. 

Although the Lower Basin can in no way compete 
with the Upper in interest, yet there are a great many 
springs and geysers within its hmits presenting an infinite 
variety of structure, form, appearance, and size ; some 
small, some large, meriting almost to be called little lakes, 
and containing vast volumes of boiling water; others 
mere cracks or fissures in the surface, occasionally eject- 
ing air or liquid, like the diminutive pufling-holes one 
meets with on the seashore. 

Occasionally the deposit is composed of almost pure 
silica ; sometimes the principal ingredient is iron ; more 
frequently it consists of iron and silica together, mixed in 
some cases with sulphur also. 

These three substances are found combined in various 
degrees ; and upon their presence or absence, and upon 
the relative proportion of one to the other, depends the 
variety of colouring, which in most of the springs is 
extremely beautiful. 

The lips, rims, and sides of the orifices and craters, 

T 



262 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

and the bottoms of the pools and channels through which 
the water overflows, assume many different colours, and 
are adorned with a great variety of most artistic work. 
The general hue is that of rich cream, and the most usual 
forms of ornamentation are lace-like fabrics and edgings 
of bead-work, very dehcate and graceful. Frequently, 
however, the ornamentation takes a larger shape and 
assumes a spongy appearance, and the sides and bottom 
of the pool will be seen covered with kidney-shaped 
or cauliflower-like excrescences. When the temper- 
ature of the water is low, it is often filled with a 
curious gelatinous material, apparently some form of 
vegetable matter decomposed, and partially filled with 
mineral deposit. This substance becomes light and fria- 
ble when dried by exposure to the sun. 

In some ponds the water is very blue ; in others it 
has the green tint of a beryl. I cannot account for the 
difference in colour. 

There are six springs in this basin which periodically 
throw wa.ter to a height of about thirty feet, and may 
therefore be denominated geysers ; but there is only one 
that can compare in size and power with the geysers of 
the Upper Basin. It is situated at the south end of the 
plain. We saw it from a distance spouting ; the steam 
and cloud were voluminous, and rose to a great height ; 
but we were not near enough to judge accurately of 
the elevation or size of the column of water ejected 
from it. 

A spring which I recognise as the thud spring of i 
Professor Hayden is the largest in this group. It has 
three orifices, all of which are generally very active ; and 
it explodes periodically, making a dull suppressed thud ; 
but it does not throw the water to any considerable 
distance. 



I 



LUTEAL COMEDY. 263 

Its basin measures eighteen by sixteen feet, and varies 
from eight to thirteen feet in depth, not counting of 
course the orifices, which are of unknown depth. 

There is one rather pecuhar specimen. It consists of 
a large basin filled with clear water, with a distinct crater 
in the centre, just rising above the surface, which also is 
full of water ; it resembles a little coral-reef in the 
ocean. The water is driven up forty or fifty feet from 
the inner basin, the aperture of which must be much 
narrower at the bottom than at the top, for the ascending 
column slopes outward ; and, having attained its maximum 
height, it droops over very gracefully like the fronds of a 
palm-tree and falls back into the outer reservoir. 

There is also in the neighbourhood a fine example of 
a mud spring. It contains twenty or thirty puffs, rising 
continually like great bhsters a foot or two above the 
surface, which, bursting with a smothered thud, scatter 
the mud around. 

These mud springs and cauldrons form the comic 
part of the entertainment. There is something very 
ludicrous about them. They fuss and fume and splutter 
and spit in such a rage about nothing, and with such 
small results, and are withal so dirty and undignified, 
that one feels quite inclined to laugh at them. 

Very different in appearance to them are the con- 
stantly occurring pools, twenty or thirty feet in diameter, 
very deep, and filled with the most pellucid water. In 
the centre is generally found a funnel-shaped apertiu-e, 
descending to goodness knows where, contrasting strongly 
in its black profundity with the sides which rise from it, 
richly coloured, and beautifully fretted with lace-Hke work. 

The rim is usually moulded into a series of scallop - 
shell-like curves, and the edges of the scallops are fre- 
quently adorned with rows of pearly flint nodules very 



264 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

pretty to see. Some of these are small, others as large 
as a walnut. Though these nodules have no more lustre 
than very dull opaque pearls, which they somewhat 
resemble, yet they are so regular in size and in order of 
position that they form a very pretty finish round the 
circumference of the ponds. 

Some springs deposit a very fine-grained black powder ; 
and in the lukewarm streams grows a vigorous, vividly 
green crop of confervse. 

On the south side of the plain, extending into the 
mountains, is a fine though not at present very active 
group, the water from which, overflowing and running 
down a series of steps, forms numerous httle cascades 
of a few inches in height, separated by brightly-coloured 
ornamented pools. 

The pine-trees in the neighbourhood of the springs 
look unutterably sad — very pictures of despair. Stripped 
of every vestige of bark or leaves, encrusted with a coat- 
ing of white silica, they stand, mutely appealing with 
outstretched arms against their forlorn condition, like so 
many vegetable Lot's wives. 

That old springs are constantly dying out and new ones 
bursting forth is evident. The remains of extinct ones 
are met with at every step ; and the pine-trees standing 
near springs in full activity, coated already with deposit 
but not yet completely destroyed, show that such springs 
must be of very recent origin. Numerous bare 
patches in the forest indicate where craters or springs 
formerly existed, and in many little lakes and ponds are 
buried the remains of geysers also deceased. 

Professor Hayden enumerates a great number of 
geysers — flowing or spouting springs — and mud volcanoes " 
in this basin, and says that he has not mentioned more than 
half of them. 



WAEM LATITUDES. 2G5 

The Fire Hole Eiver is continually receiving con- 
tributions of hot water from innumerable little rills, and 
in this basin it embraces its principal tributary — a small 
stream heading in a tiny lake in the woods, and having a 
very pretty miniature cascade 140 feet in height. It has 
been called Fairy Fall Creek, and the cascade is christened 
Fairy Falls. 

This creek enters the Fire Hole at the lower end of the 
basin. From its mouth to the mouth of Iron Spring Creek, 
which enters at the lower margin of the Upper Geyser 
Basin, the distance is five or six miles as the crow flies. 
Between the two points lies a large group of springs 
which cannot well be included in either system, and they 
have consequently been called the Half-way Springs. 
There is nothing very peculiar or worthy of notice about 
them. In fact, the springs, though chemically varying 
very much one from another, and of course dilFering 
widely in size and shape, are yet in their general cha- 
racteristics so much ahke that, unless actual analysis is 
contemplated, when one good example of each peculiar 
sort has been seen and studied, the others may well be 
taken for granted. 

From where we entered the Lower Geyser Basin to 
where we encamped at the Castle Geyser is about ten or 
twelve miles, and over more extraordinary miles I have 
never travelled. The journey is suggestive of travelling in, 
or at any rate towards, and very close to, the infernal re- 
gions. The trail runs for the most part along the Fire Hole 
Eiver, the water of which is warm, and apparently much 
appreciated in cold weather by flocks of geese and ducks. 
It is fed by nimierous little streams, the beds and sides of 
which are brightly coloured, and so variegated that they 
present sometimes an appearance almost of rough mosaic. 
In some the water is very hot, hot enough to make the 



266 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

mules hop when they tread in it ; in others it is com- 
paratively cool, varying in temperature according to the 
distance the water has run from the boiling source. 

The streams and river are lined with very dense green 
vegetation. The sides of the river, in fact, the whole face 
of the country, is honeycombed and pitted with springs, 
ponds, and mud-pots ; furrowed with boiling streams, 
gashed with fissures, and gaping with chasms from which 
issue hollow rumblings, as if great stones were rolHng 
round and round, or tierce, angry snarls and roars. 

The ground sounds hollow under foot. The trail 
winds in and out among holes that puff sulphur fumes or 
squirt water at you ; by great caverns that reverberate 
hideously, and yawn to swallow you up, horse and all ; 
crosses boiling streams which flow over beds composed of 
a hard crust, coloured yellow, green, and red, and skirted 
by great cisterns of boiling, bubbling, seething water. 
The crust feels as if it might break through at any 
moment and drop you into fire and flames beneath, and 
the animals tread gingerly upon it. 

You pass a translucent, lovely pool, and are nearly 
pitched into its hot azure depths by your mule, which 
violently shies at a white pufF of steam maliciously spitten 
into its face through a minute fissure in the path. You 
must needs examine into that ragged-mouthed cavern, 
and start back with more agility than grace to escape 
from a sudden flood of hot water, which spitefully and 
without warning gurgles out and wets you through. The 
air is full of subdued, strange noises ; distant grumblings 
as of dissatisfied ghosts, faint shrieks, satirical groans, and 
subterranean laugliter ; as if the imprisoned devils, though 
exceedingly uncomfortable, were not beyond being amused 
at seeing a fresh victim approach. You fancy you can 
hear the rattle of the loom, the whirl of wheels, the 



AN INFERNAL SMITHERY. 267 

clang and clatter of machinery ; and the impression is 
borne upon the mind that you are in the manufacturing 
department of Inferno, where the skilled hands and 
artisans doomed to hard labour are employed. I can 
compare it only to one's feelings in an iron foundry, 
where one expects every moment to step on a piece 
of hot iron, to be run through the stomach by a bar 
of white glowing metal, to be mistaken for a pig and 
cast headlong into a furnace, or to be in some other way 
burned, scalded, and damaged. 

It is dangerous ground ; I have not heard of any acci- 
dent up to the present time ; no modern Koran, Dathan, 
and Abiram as yet have been engulfed ahve ; but the 
visits to these regions have been, like those of angels, 
few and far between ; and I daresay, when they become 
more numerous, we shall hear of some premature roast- 
ings, and of some poor wretches boiled before their time. 

Near the trail, and situated in the woods, is another 
large mud spring. I call it spring for want of a better 
word, for there is really no spring about it. It consists 
of a basin measuring 40 by 30 feet, full of mud, which is 
constantly rising in puffs and exploding. This mud varies 
very much in colour at different times. 

On the top of a little hill of flinty deposit near the 
river is one very large spring, nearly circular in shape, 
and measuring 150 feet in diameter. The water, boiling 
in the centre and overflowing all round, has produced a 
series of perfectly-formed concentric steps a few inches 
in height. The water is perfectly clear, and the orna- 
mentation very pretty. Quite close to the river is 
another still larger cistern, 250 feet in diameter. The 
sides are about twenty feet high, and it is full of water in 
a state of violent ebullition, and throwing off a great 
quantity of steam. 



268 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

Late in the afternoon it began to rain heavily, and, 
amid the usual discomforts attending on a wet camp, we 
pitched our tents in a small grove of trees close to the 
' Castle Geyser.' This geyser is situated on an irregular 
platform of deposit, measuring 100 feet in length by 70 
feet in diameter, and, at the centre, being three feet above 
the level of the plain. About the middle of this platform 
rises the active chimney, a cone of 11 feet 11 inches in 
height, having an aperture three feet in diameter, almost 
circular in form ; and measuring 120 feet in circumference 
at the base, and 60 feet at the top. It does not taper 
gradually, nor is the exterior surface smooth ; but it is 
irregular in contour, forming a series of rough steps by 
which you can chmb to the top. The lips and interior of 
the funnel are lined with large, globular, orange-coloured 
masses. 

Quite close to the crater are two pools simmering and 
bubbhng, which share in the excitement consequent on an 
eruption, becoming dry when the ' Castle ' is in operation. 
There is also a third very lovely pool, about 30 
feet in diameter and 60 feet deep, with an aperture at 
the bottom that looks so profound that you might almost 
fancy it went right through to the other side. The inner 
lining is of perfectly pure white sihca, and the edges 
are scalloped and ornamented with the usual pearl-like 
mouldings. But the most noticeable thing about it is the 
perfect purity and transparency of the water, which is 
so still, so blue, so clear, that you scarcely know where 
the surface is, can hardly tell which is air and which is 
water ; indeed, you involuntarily stoop and plunge your 
hand into it to convince yourself that that translucent 
element is in reality water. Many of my readers may 
have seen on the western shores of Scotland or Ire- 
land, on some fine summer's day when the Atlantic dozes 



THE ' CASTLE' IN SPASMS. 269 

in the warm sun, clear, deep pools left by the receding 
tide. Beautiful they are with the rich golden browns of 
the sea-rack that streams upwards to the light; the 
delicate pinks and greens of the seaweed that fringes the 
rim ; the bright or subdued colouring of anemones, sea- 
urchins, and shells. Somewhat like them, but much 
more perfect in shape, variety, and intensity of colour- 
ing, and above all in purity, are these fresh water-pools. 

When we arrived the ' Castle ' was placidly smoking. 
Far down in the depths of the funnel an indistinct rum- 
bling could be heard ; but it seemed quite inactive. 
However, a couple of men, belonging to another party, 
Avho had been there some days, told us that they expected 
it to spout about eleven at night ; so we set to work to 
make ourselves comfortable in camp. 

Scarcely had we got things fixed and supper under 
weigh, when a yell from Boteler, ' He's going to spout ! ' 
caused us to drop teapot and pannikin, and tumble out 
of the tent in half no time. 

It was getting dark, but there was quite enough light 
to see that the fit was upon the imprisoned monster. We 
ran upon the platform, close to the crater, but were very 
soon driven from that position and forced to look on 
humbly from a distance. 

Far down in his bowels a fearful commotion was 
going on ; we could hear a great noise — a rumbling as of 
thousands of tons of stones rolling round and round, piling 
up in heaps and ratthng down again, mingled with the 
lashing of the water against the sides as it surged up 
the funnel and fell again in spray. Louder and louder 
grew the disturbance, till with a sudden qualm he would 
heave out a few tons of water and obtain momentary 
relief. After a few premonitory heaves had warned us 
to remove to a little distance, the symptoms became 



270 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

rapidly worse ; the row and the racket increased in 
intensity; the monster's throes became more and more 
violent ; the earth trembled at his rage ; and finally, with 
a mighty spasm, he hurled into the air a great column 
of water. 

I should say that this column reached at its highest 
point of elevation an altitude of 250 feet. The spray 
and steam were driven through it up to a much greater 
elevation, and then floated upward as a dense cloud to 
any distance. The operation was not continuous, but 
consisted of strong, distinct pulsations, occurring at a 
maximum rate of seventy per minute ; having a general 
tendency to increase gradually in vigour and rapidity of 
utterance until the greatest development of strength was 
attained, and then sinking again by degrees. But the 
increase and subsidence were not uniform or regular ; the 
jets arose, getting stronger and stronger at every pulsa- 
tion for ten or twelve strokes, until the effort would 
culminate in three impulses of unusual power. 

The column of water appeared quite perpendicular, 
and was constantly ascending, for long before one jet 
had attained its greatest elevation, another had been 
forced through the aperture ; but in the column the 
different efforts were plainly visible. The volume of 
water ejected must have been prodigious ; the spray 
descended in heavy rain over a large area, and torrents 
of hot water six or eight inches deep poured down the 
sloping platform. 

The noise of the eruption was indescribable. I know 
of but one simile drawn from Nature that conveys the 
smallest impression of it, and even then the impression 
is quite inadequate to illustrate the subject. Have you 
ever sat upon the very verge of a steep sea-cliff in a 
gale ? I don't mean one of your yachtsman's breezes, 



THE ERUPTION! 271 

but a real bona fide full winter's gale of wind, roaring 
from the north-west over leagues and leagues of white 
Atlantic, and striking full against the clifF-face. If you 
have, you will know that there is at the edge a little space 
of complete calm, where the sea-pinks are scarcely 
stirred, and where you can sit and listen to the awful riot 
around you, untouched by it. If you will sit there, and 
are unaccustomed to such a scene, you will be half 
deafened and quite frightened by the strife of wind and 
rock and sea. Hear with what tremendous blows the 
gale strikes against the bold front of cliff and flies 
hoarsely howling with rage just over your head ! Listen 
to its vicious scream, as, baffled, it beats against the crags, 
and shrieks shrilly round some jutting rock ! The ground 
seems to shake under the shock and thunder of the 
breakers against its base ; and under all you will note the 
continuous hollow roar of the pebble bank crumbling to 
the sea with each receding wave. To all these sounds 
of elemental war add the shrieking of the steam-pipes 
of many steamers blowing off, and you will have some 
idea of an eruption of the ' Castle.' 

Or, if you don't know much about the sea, you may 
imagine a gigantic pot boiling madly with a thunder- 
storm in its stomach, and half full of great stones rolling 
and knocking about against its reverberating sides. 
Taken with the above-mentioned steam-pipe accom- 
paniment, which is indispensable, this may convey a 
faint idea of the noise. 

The total display lasted about an hour. Water was 
ejected for twenty minutes, and was then succeeded by 
steam, which was driven out with much violence and in 
great quantities. Like the water, it was expelled in 
regular beats, increasing in rapidity as the jet decreased 
in strength until the pulsations merged into one 



272 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

continuous lioarse roar, wliich gradually but fitfully sub- 
sided, and the exhausted geyser sank back into complete 
repose. 

To enjoy such a sight as this, a man should have 
time to get a little accustomed to it, for the display of 
such stupendous force exhibited in such an unusual 
manner is, to say the least of it, startling. 

In our case, the grandeur and awfulness of the scene 
were intensified by the darkness, for before the eruption 
ceased night had fallen, and obscurity enshrouding 
the plain rendered even common objects unnatural 
and strange. From out a neighbouring vent white puffs 
of steam were forced, which, bending forward in the 
light breeze, crept slowly past the mound, looking in the 
dark like sheeted ghosts stooping under the burden of 
their crimes. The grey plain, and the naked pines stretch- 
ing out their bared arms menacingly like warning spirits, 
showed ghastly in the half-light ; and with these accom- 
paniments of darkness and novelty, and amid a confused 
noise and concussion of the atmosphere, and shocks and 
tremblings of the earth, this great geyser was exhibiting 
a spectacle entirely new and strange to all of us except 
one of the party. 

We considered ourselves very lucky to have so soon 
seen one of the principal geysers in action ; and damp but 
happy we went to bed. 

The next morning broke very dull. Dense columns 
of steam rose heavily from innumerable vents into the 
still morning atmosphere. The air was filled with 
smothered indistinct noises, emanating from the various 
springs and smaller geysers. 

After breakfast we walked up to the head of the 
valley and, taking our stand upon the mound of Old 
Faithful, took a general survey of th(^ basin. Old Faithful 



OLD FAITHFUL AND FIRE HOLE RIVER. 273 

is situated at tlie extreme south end of the valley, and 
commands a good view of the whole plain. 

The morning was still very close and heavy, but occa- 
sionally glimpses of sun burst through the thin fog, and 
lit up the bare ugliness of the plain. The general appear- 
ance of the surface is a dingy white, but parts of it are 
coloured yellowish brown by the jelly-like mud or muddy 
jelly that I have before mentioned as existing in and 
around many of the pools. A few grey patches of 
withered grass are scattered about. 

Before us stretched out this plain, broken with a few 
groves of growing pines, and dotted here and there with 
dead dilapidated-looking trees, naked or clothed in a white 
mantle of silica. From this abode of desolation the trees 
seemed to stand aloof, fearing to share the fate of their com- 
panions already caught and turned into stone. Here and 
there small colonies, pushed forward by the dense popu- 
lation behind them, intruded somewhat on the plain ; 
but, as a rule, the forest appeared reluctant to approach 
the edge. All around, but a httle in the background, 
rose the thick timber, broken by a few gaps and open 
spaces which indicate where springs or geysers, active 
or extinct, are situated. From some half-dozen of these 
places columns of steam were ascending straight up in 
the still air. 

Far down the valley, ejected by some great geyser in 
operation, dense clouds were bulging upwards to a 
height of 1,000, or perhaps 2,000 feet, and were 
gradually moving southward. Through this plain or 
valley, flowing in a south-east and north-west di- 
rection, runs the Fire Hole Eiver, which drains into 
the Madison the vast quantities of boiling Avater 
thrown to the surface. It is totally unlike any other 
river that I have ever seen. Its bed and banks. 



274 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

entirely composed of hot spring deposit, are honey- 
combed, spHt up and scooped out all over by geysers, 
springs and pools, simmering, murmuring, gurgling, 
grumbling, spitting, snarling, steaming, hissing, exploding, 
boiling, and roaring — in short, making every sort of 
extraordinary noise. Some grumbled quietly along, as if 
enjoying themselves pretty well ; breaking out occa- 
sionally into a sort of gurgling, explosive laughter. 
Others, after being quite quiet for a long time, got into a 
violent rage, spat and snarled, or hissed like angry geese. 
They were of all sizes and descriptions, varying from 
minute vents, not bigger than a quill, to great tanks of 
boiling water. The course of the river is very straight, 
and it appeared somewhat like a steaming canal cut 
through a country entirely composed of limekilns, slag- 
heaps, and the refuse of old smelting works. 

Old Faithful is so called because he plays regularly 
every three-quarters of an hour. The crater is quite 
low, and contains an orifice, which is in fact only the 
widening of a crack, which extends across the whole 
mound, and through which, when the geyser is excited, 
the steam is driven out and the air sucked in again, 
as happens in puffing-holes by the sea when a wave 
entering the cavern below expels the air with violence 
and noise, which presently rushes in again to fill the 
vacuum left by the water as it goes out. The mound on 
which the chimney stands is 11 feet 11 inches high, 
215 feet by 145 at the base, and 54 feet by 20 at 
the top. It is formed of a series of concentric layers or 
steps of deposit, generally rather thin, raised above each 
other by little ledges, varying from a foot to an inch or so 
in height. The summit is covered with the most beauti- 
ful little pools, several feet deep, in which wandering 
trappers and an occasional traveller have dropped frag- 



GEYSER VARIETIES. 275 

ments of cream-coloured silicate bearing their names in 
pencil on them — a reprehensible practice and one to be 
abhorred, but which, in the present case, serves to demon- 
strate admirably the great clearness of the water. 

For about half an hour Old Faithful remains quiet, 
making a comfortable, soothing, simmering sort of noise 
in his inside. After a little he gets uneasy, bubbling 
up occasionally to the mouth and subsiding again. 
Every spasm becomes more powerful, till with a con- 
vulsive and mighty roar up comes the water in a great 
column. He throws it to a height of from 100 to 150 
feet for the space of about five minutes, during which 
time he keeps the top of the column almost at one level ; 
and from numerous points in the crack which traverses 
the mound small jets and spurts of water are driven out. 
Old Faithful is not to be compared with the ' Castle ; ' 
but it is a very fine geyser. When in operation, it dis- 
plays a great amount of vigour ; and it presents unusual 
facilities for observation, for, if a man does not object to 
standing up to his ankles in water — and, if he does, he had 
better remain at home — he can, by keeping to windward 
on a breezy day, stand within a foot or two of the orifice 
during the period of eruption. 

Every geyser in this group has a different form and 
appearance, ' is endowed with different degrees of 
strength, and throws the water in different ways to various 
heights ; yet the same general description is applicable to 
them all ; and, as it is impossible for me to convey any- 
thing but a very feeble impression of the reality, it would 
be only wearisome were I to try and describe more than 
one eruption. 

Looking down the river from the summit of Old 
Faithful, that is to say, towards the north-west, the most 
noticeable craters on the right bank are the Bee Hive and 



276 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

the Giantess. The name of the former sufficiently indi- 
cates its shape. It has a small cone of only 3 feet high 
and 5 feet in diameter at the base, the orifice measuring 
24 by 36^ inches. I did not see it in active operation. 
Professor Hay den describes it as throwing a column of water 
of the size of the aperture to a height of 219 feet for 
eighteen minutes, and says that the velocity of the water is 
such that the column is not deflected more than four or 
five degrees out of the perpendicular. No water, he adds, 
falls back from this geyser, but the whole mass appears 
to be driven up into fine spray or steam, which is carried 
away as cloud or diffused imperceptibly into the atmo- 
sphere. 

A little to the back of the 'Bee Hive' the 'Giantess' is 
situated. The crater in this case consists of a very deep 
opening of considerable width at the surface, and narrow- 
ing below. One of the pipes that convey the water and 
steam must be very small, for the strongest jets, those 
which are driven to the great height of 250 feet at least, 
through a larger mass of water which rises only 50 or 60 
feet, are, comparatively speaking, small. The large open- 
ing is 32 feet by 23 feet 6 inches across, and 63 feet in 
depth, and is filled with water.of a deep, clear, green shade. 
It is situate on the summit of a gently sloping mound of 
geyserite, about 200 yards in diameter at the base. 

On the other side of the river, that is to say, on the left 
bank, the first geyser you come to is the ' Castle,' already 
described. About half a mile below that is the Giant, a 
very grand, but rather aged and worn-out geyser. The 
crater is a very large rugged chimney about 10 feet in 
height, nearly circular, being 25 by 24 feet in diameter 
at its base, and 8 feet at the top. The platform on which 
it stands is nearly 400 yards in circumference, and the 
principal aperture is 5 feet in diameter. The wall of the 



FAITHFUL JUNIOR. 277 

chininey is considerably crumbled and decayed, and on 
one side is completely broken through. The orifice also 
is broken into from the outside in two places, which 
must largely spoil the appearance of the jet. There are 
three pools of boiling water on the mound, close to the 
crater ; and only a few yards away a new and very 
active geyser, commonly called ' Young Faithful,' has 
broken out. He has not been many years in existence, 
and, full of young life and energy, he blows off steam 
continuously and furiously. I threw him some stones, an 
attention which he rather seemed to appreciate, for he 
rolled them about in his throat and did not reject them 
until he had ground them to powder. He is increasing 
year by year visibly in strength; and, as it appears 
that the old Giant is at the same time getting feebler, 
it is probable that the youthful exuberance of the son is 
obtained at the expense of the father. At present Young 
Faithful is in operation all the time. As he gets older he 
will no doubt find out, with the other geysers, that once 
in twenty-four hours is quite sufficient. 

I was fortunate enough to see the Giant play, but I 
was not sufficiently near to form anything like an accurate 
estimate of the quantity of water cast up, or of the height 
to which it was thrown. The volume of water appeared 
immense, and huge clouds of steam arose from it. The 
eruption lasted only a few minutes ; which is strange, as 
Professor Hayden describes it as playing for an hour 
and twenty minutes, and throwing a column of water to 
a height of 140 feet. Lieutenant Doane affirms that it 
threw water from 90 to 200 feet (an estimate which is 
very liberal in its margin) for three hours and a half; 
and Mr. Langford says that it threw a jet of five feet in 
diameter 140 feet high. 

About a quarter of a mile west of the Giant are 
u 



278 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

situated four large basins, the biggest being about thirty 
feet in circumference. They may be said to be within 
the same rim, though there is scarcely any appreciable 
rise above the general level of the plain. The ground all 
round them is quite soft and spongy, composed of a 
brownish yellow material, which, when dry, becomes 
light and brittle, and somewhat resembles a fungus. The 
surface is covered with little bubbling vents, about the 
size of a quill. In the largest basin are two apertures, 
and by one or both of these the water is constantly 
heaved up in a great rounded mass, like a huge bubble. 
The different basins are not in connection with each 
other. I was fortunate enough to see one of them in 
a state of great activity, but I was at some distance ; and, 
though I made all possible haste, the eruption, which 
only lasted a few minutes, had ceased before I arrived 
at the spot. The volume of water ejected appeared 
enormous, and I judged the height of the jet to be about 
150 feet. I supposed this to be the 'Grand Geyser,' but 
I see that Professor Hayden locates it at the other side 
of the river. 

Farther back, and near the edge of the forest, are 
the remains of a great geyser, now deceased, or nearly 
so. He has buried himself in a steep mound 70 or 80 
feet high, and about 200 feet in diameter at the base. 
From the summit a httle smoke was still exhaling, but 
there were no signs of a recent eruption. 

To the south-west are two large geysers quite inactive. 

In the rear of the Castle is a very old fellow, the 
great-grandfather, I should say, of all the geysers in the 
place. He is now very near his end, but during his active' 
life he has made a deposit covering at least two acres of 
ground. In the centre of this mound are three apertures, 
brimming over with perfectly clear water. They are very 



CALM CONTRASTS. 279 

deep. Two of them are perfectly still, and do not betray 
the slightest sign of animation, nor is there any appear- 
ance in them of an aperture. The third is feebly bub- 
bling in a foolish drivelling sort of way, like an old man 
in his dotage muttering and dreaming of former and 
better days, thinking what a grand old geyser he was, 
and how he had in his time thrown more water higher 
and further and with more fuss, and made more noise, 
and been generally livelier than any of the present 
degenerate age; all of which, to judge by his aspect, 
may be quite true. 

Besides those already enumerated are many other 
geysers of great interest and importance, v^ell worthy of 
a visit and meriting description : but the description of 
one must resemble that of another ; and I wish, if pos- 
sible, to avoid the crime of prolixity. The principal of 
these are the Grotto, the Fan Geyser, the Eiverside 
Geyser, the Saw Mills, the Turban, and the Grand 
Geyser. 

The borders of the Fire Hole Eiver and its confluent. 
Iron Spring Creek, and a great portion of the plain 
enclosed by these two streams, are dotted in all direc- 
tions by mud ponds, solfataras, fumaroles, warm pools, 
boiling springs, and the remains of many extinct geysers 
of considerable size. 

To my mind, by far the most beautiful objects are the 
still, deep, quiet wells. They are perfectly lovely. 

Imagine a circular basin of, say, about 15 or 20 feet 
across, and 50 or 60 feet in depth, the ground sur- 
rounding it sloping very gently back from the brink in 
little concentric steps, varying perhaps a quarter pi an 
inch to three or four inches in height at a time. The 
edges of these steps are curved into a series of semi- 
arches, and adorned with mouldings of pearly beads, 
u 2 



280 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

ranging in colour from a dull white to a coral pink. 
The rim of the basin is convoluted and gathered in, into 
a system of irregular curves, scalloped and beaded. The 
interior is of a most delicately rich cream colour, inten- 
sified in places to rose ; and over portions of it is spread a 
fine network of lace-like fabric. Deeper down the orna- 
mentation becomes larger, and the sides are composed of 
rounded sponge-like masses. The basin is filled to the 
brim with water, more transparent than anything you 
can imagine, and deeply blue. As the sun rising or 
sinking strikes at a greater or smaller angle the surface 
of the water, its rays, refracted more or less obliquely by 
the resolving element, give a constantly varying but ever 
lustrous appearance to the interior ornamentations and 
colourings of the pool that baffles all attempts at descrip- 
tion. One never tires of looking at these fairy lakes, for 
though language fails to convey the impression of variety, 
and the character of sameness would appear to be insepa- 
rable from them, yet it is not so at all ; on the contrary, 
a constant and beautiful change is going on at every 
succeeding moment of the day. 

In the measurements I have given above, I do not 
pretend to accuracy. I have merely guessed at them, 
except in such cases as I have found mentioned in 
Professor Hayden's reports. There is a great discrepancy 
of opinion among the several scientific gentlemen who 
have visited this locality as to the height to which the 
different geysers throw the water, and also as to the dura- 
tion of the eruptions. This is attributable. I daresay, 
chiefly to the great difficulty of distinguishing exactly the 
point where the water ends and the fine spray or steam 
commences ; also of deciding up to what height the steam 
is propelled, and where it commences merely to ascend. 
Tlie geysers, moreover, must vary far more than is 



DOCTORS DISAGREE. 281 

generally supposed, both in the amount of force exhibited, 
in the length of the eruption, and in the interval between 
the displays. Professor Hayden, for instance, says that the 
Bee Hive threw 219 feet high for eighteen minutes, while 
Mr. Peale says over 100 ; which is vague, but could not 
mean more than 150 feet. The same authority states 
that the average of Old Faithful was 121 feet 9 inches ; 
Hayden, on the other hand, gives it as from 100 to 150 
feet. The latter adds that the eruption lasted fifteen 
minutes, while the former says that its duration was only 
four minutes forty-five seconds. Again, Professor Hayden 
describes the crater of the Giantess as being 18 feet by 
20, and 160 feet deep, and says that she threw a column 
of water to an altitude of 250 feet ; while Mr. Peale, 
speaking of the same geyser, says the basin is 23 feet 
6 inches by 32 feet 6 inches, and 63 feet deep, and the 
extreme height attained by the water was 39 feet, the 
average height being only 30 feet. According to Hayden 
it played for twenty minutes. Of the three eruptions 
mentioned by Mr. Peale, two lasted about seventeen 
minutes. Professor Hayden speaks of the Castle as if 
it had been a great geyser, and represents that it is 
now inactive, and only keeping up a constant roaring 
inside ; while Mr. Peale mentions that he witnessed 
three eruptions of it, only, as he did not see the 
commencement of one, he could not in that instance 
accurately ascertain the height to which the water was 
forced ; the average height of the other two being 63 
feet. I guessed it at 250, and the time to be an hour, and 
I know that I could not be so very far out. Professor 
Hayden saw the ' Grand Geyser ' throw a column of water 
200 feet high, which was held up for twenty minutes. Mr. 
Peale mentions 173 feet as the extreme height, and gives 
thirty-two minutes as the duration of the eruption. 



282 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

In a few instances only have the geysers in eruption 
been accurately measured by triangulation. They are so 
far removed from each other, and so little is known of the 
length of interval occurring between two eruptions of the 
same geyser (which interval, again, probably varies con- 
tinually), that it would occupy the attention of a large 
staff of men for a considerable time to obtain anything 
like reliable data on the subject of the phenomena ex- 
hibited in this wonderful region. 

It would be interesting to note the similarity of general 
character that exists in the various n^.anifestations of 
extant volcanic force in such widely separated regions of 
the globe as North America, Iceland, and New Zealand, 
and to endeavour to compare them one with another, and 
to judge of their relative value. 

Unfortunately it is impossible to arrive at any con- 
clusions so well assured as to permit of one's speaking 
dogmatically on the subject. The geyser in Iceland has 
been thoroughly studied for very many years, and, if 
the other volcanic districts had been submitted to as 
close and severe a scrutiny, comparison would be easy. 
But the wonders of the Yellowstone have been laid open 
to scientific inquiry only during the last four or five 
years ; and, though very much has been accomplished in 
that short time, yet much remains to be done before any 
reliable conclusions can be arrived at. Considering that 
their existence has been known for a comparatively long 
period, it is very strange how few observations have been 
obtained of the New Zealand geysers. Whether it be 
that the intervals occurring between their eruptions are 
unusually wide, or that the periods of excitement are 
governed by some obscure effect of climate or weather, 
and are consequently variable and uncertain to an unusual 
extent, I do not know; but it is a fact that very few 



COMPARATIVE GEYSEROLOQY. 283 

travellers who have visited the neighbourhood of Lake 
Taupo and the other volcanic districts of the middle 
island have been favoured with the view of a geyser in 
actual eruption. We have therefore to content our- 
selves with unreliable information gathered from native 
accounts and mere hearsay. Such statements cannot of 
course be opposed to the observations of scientific men or 
of the ordinary but accurate traveller. The only mention 
that I can find of a ISTew Zealand geyser in operation is 
made by the Honourable Herbert Meade, E.N., who 
describes the great geyser at Waikite as throwing a vast 
column of water to a height of forty or fifty feet. He 
says that on or about the 20th December it rouses itself 
from a quiescent condition into a state of activity, increas- 
ing in vigour till February, when the exhibition culminates 
and gradually subsides again. This geyser would seem 
to be governed by totally different laws from those ruling 
its brethren in any other part of the world, and it affords 
an exception to the rule of similarity asserted above. Its 
eruption must constitute a very grand display, not on 
account of the height attained by the jet, but by reason of 
its enormous bulk ; but it is not equal to the geyser in 
Iceland, or to many among the spouting springs of the 
Yellowstone country. But because this, the only well- 
authenticated account that I can find, proves that the 
particular eruption described is inferior to the operations 
of many geysers in other countries, it would not be fair 
on that ground alone to prejudge New Zealand. 

There is a certain amount of truth doubtless in native 
stories, and even from their appearance it may be re- 
garded as certain that spouting springs, most remarkable 
for size and vigour, do exist in New Zealand, although 
travellers have not been fortunate enough to see them 
playing. The structure of a true geyser is so peculicir 



284 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

that it is not easy to be deceived about it. Where you 
find a laige orifice and deep tube, a great mass of deposit 
and plenty of present activity in the neighbouring springs, 
it is reasonable to assume that the geyser so constituted, 
though probably depending more upon quantity than 
quality, upon volume rather than elevation, for its posi- 
tion, must be considered a member of the first class. 
Now some of the hot springs and the basins or funnels 
of many of the New Zealand geysers are very large 
indeed. Te Tarata measures 80 feet by 60 ; the basin 
of Otukapuarange is 40 or 50 feet in diameter. The 
aperture of Ku-a Kuoi is 16 feet long by 12 wide, and 
Pirori at Tokana has a funnel 8 feet broad on the sur- 
face, and is said to throw a column of water 6 feet in 
diameter to an elevation of 100 feet. The largest cistern 
that to my knowledge exists in the Upper Fire Hole 
Basin measures 250 feet in diameter ; but Eotomahana 
Lake is one mile in length and a quarter of a mile 
broad. I think this pond may fairly be considered as 
belonging to the class of hot springs, for though it may 
not contain any single great central aperture, yet its 
waters are throughout raised to a high temperature by 
the numerous points of ebulhtion which break through 
the bottom and sides. 

Keasoning, therefore, solely from the size of their 
orifices, we should be compelled to admit that these 
New Zealand fountains excel all others, be they where 
they may. But it is probable that the very size of their 
craters must in the case of an eruption interfere preju- 
dicially with the character of the display. All other 
things being equal, it is certain that a fountain having a 
long and narrow tube would eject water for a longer 
time, and to a much greater altitude, than one provided 
with a shallow and very broad orifice ; and consequently 



A FAIRY SPECTACLE. 285 

the eruption of the former would far exceed in magni- 
ficence and interest that of the latter. A lofty and 
slender column of water, ejected with such vehemence 
that for some distance it rises as a solid perpendicular 
jet, and then gradually losing its momentum sways and 
rocks in the wind, melting at the summit into white 
mist and cloud, and drooping over gracefully and falling 
in long snow-white curves, or in showers of glittering 
raindrops sparkling like diamonds in the sunshine, 
streaked and barred with rainbow — such a spectacle is 
full of grace, and is exquisitely beautiful ; but a vast bulky 
mass of water many yards in diameter, hurled up to a 
height of 40 or 50 feet in one great effort, though a sight 
most marvellous as exhibiting a prodigious display of 
force, is not calculated to fill one with admiration and 
wonder by its loveliness. The mudpots and solfataras 
at Walk ana Pahapa would appear to be similar to, but 
larger than, those in America which I have attempted 
to describe. But, on the other hand, the mud volcanoes 
on the banks of the Yellowstone are superior to any- 
thing of the same sort hitherto discovered in New 
Zealand. In both countries the areas in which volcanic 
action at present exists are very large. In New Zealand 
the district measures in its longer axis about 150 miles. 
It is impossible to say how extensive it may be in 
Wyoming and Montana, for the country is not thoroughly 
explored ; but, if the various geyser basins already known 
to exist be considered as belonging to one system, then it 
is very large indeed. Probably these centres of volcanic 
action will be found to connect with other groups of 
thermal springs which have been observed in states 
and territories further to the south. In either land, the 
principal phenomena are grouped near a lake of con- 
siderable size, and the country surrounding them is 



286 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

mountainous. New Zealand has certainly the advantage in 
this respect. Towering above the plain rise the two great 
active volcanoes of Tongariro and Euapehu, casting out 
from their cones of scoria volumes of smoke. The pre- 
sence of these burning mountains, standing like sentries 
guarding the mysterious region they overlook, proudly 
overshadowing the fussing, fuming, insignificant springs 
and fumaroles beneath them, and watching the whole 
district spread out at their feet, must add great grandeur 
and impressiveness to the scene. Yet, if New Zealand 
excels in general beauty of efiect, she cannot corapete in 
excellence of detail, except in the single case of the 
terraces of Eotomahana. 

Judging therefore by what I have read and heard of 
both countries, a ad by what I have seen of one, I arrive 
at the inevitable deduction that the springs, mud volca- 
noes, and geysers of Wyoming are not only more nume- 
rous, but more important than those of New Zealand. 

It is a curious fact that, both in Iceland and New Zea- 
land, the geysers are, with few exceptions, described as con- 
sisting of a deep, broad pool or spring, existing on a level 
platform or in a depression of the surface ; whereas those 
situated in the Upper and Lower Fire Hole Basins are 
almost invariably provided with a regular chimney, vary- 
ing from 3 to 12 feet in height, which occupies the centre 
of a mound. Whether this difference in structure would 
tend to carry out the theory that the American formation 
is older than the others, I do not pretend to say, being no 
judge of these matters ; but it seems natural to suppose 
that the antiquity of those geysers is greatest where the 
tubes are longest, where the orifice is contracted, and 
where the deposit has built up a distinct chimney round 
the mouth. 

The principal spouting fountains in Iceland are the 



OLD STROKKER ROUSES HIMSELF. 287 

Geyser and the Strokker, which being translated mean the 
Eoarer and the Churn. None of the others can stand 
comparison with the ordinary thermal springs and boiling 
fountains of the Yellowstone country, and it is somewhat 
doubtful in my mind whether even the Geyser is at pre- 
sent superior or even equal to the Grand, the Giant, the 
Castle, or any other Transatlantic specimens of the first 
class. Comparisons are odious ; in this case they are 
impossible dso, for though the Iceland geyser is tho- 
roughly understood, the others have not been sufficiently 
studied ; and so much do the eruptive forces vary on 
different occasions that, unless very many operations were 
observed and measured, it would be impossible to arrive 
at a just estimate of the relative value of two geysers. 

In former days the Iceland geyser was more active 
than at present ; probably it then exceeded in power 
and capacity anything we now know of. Mr. C. S. 
Forbes speaks of it as throwing a column 60 feet high 
when he saw it play in 1859. No diameter is given on 
this occasion. In another place the same authority de- 
scribes an eruption in the following terms : — 

' September 10th. — Twice during the night I was 
aroused by the unearthly complaints of The Geyser ; but 
beyond the vast clouds of vapour which invariably follow 
each detonation, and a gentle overflowing of the basin, 
they were false alarms. As morning was breakmg it 
sounded an unmistakable " reveille," which would have 
roused the dead ; and I had barely time to take up my 
position at the brink of the old " Strokker " before full 
power was turned on. Jet succeeded jet with fearful 
rapidity, earth trembled, and the very cone itself seemed 
to stagger under the ordeal. Portions of its sides, rent 
with the uncontrollable fury it had suddenly generated, 
were ripped off and flew up in volleys, soaring high above 



288 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

water and steam, whilst the latter rolled away in fleecy 
clouds before the light north wind, and, catching the rays 
of the morning sun just ghstening over the yokul-tops in 
the far east, was lustrous white as the purest snow. 

' Discharge succeeded discharge in rapid succession for 
upwards of four minutes, when, apparently exhausted 
and its basin empty, I scrambled up to the margin, in- 
tending to have a good look down the tube, which I 
imagined must also be empty ; but the water was still 
within a few feet of the brink and boiling furiously. 
Hastening back to my former position, tlie basin filled 
rapidly, and I was just in time to witness the most mag- 
nificent explosion of all. Everything seemed to depend 
upon this superhuman effort, and a solid unbroken column 
of water was hurled upwards of 25 feet in circumference, 
attaining an altitude of nearly 100 feet. Here the column 
paused for a moment before reversing its motion, and fell 
listless and exhausted through the volumes of vapour 
which followed it into its throbbing cup, again to undergo 
its fiery ordeal at the threshold of the infernal regions.' 

A column of water 25 feet in circumference far ex- 
ceeds the dimensions of the jet of American geysers ; 
but many among the latter throw to a higher elevation, 
and keep up the display for a much greater length of 
time. Mr. Syminf]^ton, who saw the Great Geyser in erup- 
tion, says : — 

' Subterranean noises like thunder were waxing louder 
and louder, each earth-shock accompanied by a tremor of 
the ground, more or less violent, but quite unmistakable. 
Bells of water in quick succession were rising from the 
basin and falling again, ever increasing in size, till a large 
one burst ; and then jets of water in successive spurts 
rushed up in sheaves from the tube ; at first about 10 feet, 
then the height was 15, 20, 30, 50 feet, and so on; each 



A TERRIFIC SPECTACLE. 289 

effort surpassing the preceding, till it attained the height 
of 200 feet. The fountain did not fall down between 
each jet, but, nearly holding the elevation once gained, 
the w^hole grew up bodily by a series of jerks, each 
higher than the last. Dense clouds of steam enveloped 
the whole, and only afforded occasional glimpses of the 
columns of water from the leeward side. White vapour 
also spread out above the fountain, rolling away in vast 
curling volumes, which condensing in the air came down 
like heavy dew. Tremendous sounds were continuously 
heard, like the roaring of an angry sea, broken in upon 
by the near discharge of minute guns. It is at last, what 
we longed to behold, a grand eruption of the Great Geyser. 
' The vast body of water from the central pipe con- 
tinued jetting up, till, as I have said, it attained the 
height of 200 feet, falling down again into the basin, 
which "was brimful to overflowing. The subterranean 
rumbling sounds and reports, accompanied with vibration 
of the ground, were fearful. Jets of water rushed up in 
sheaf with a continuous noise, such as would be produced 
by 500 rockets discharged into the air at the same 
instant. 

' Even the beautiful clouds of steam which robed the 
Geyser were regarded by us with an indescribable feeling 
of mysterious awe and wonder, as if we had actually dis- 
covered the fabled magic vapour, from which the Eastern 
Ufret, or any other vision might arise ; while the sharp 
tinkling plash of the descending water could at times be 
heard amidst the loud, hissing, roaring, booming, and con- 
fused Babel of all unearthly sounds. The eruptive forces 
having now expended themselves for a time, the fountain 
gradually subsided in the same manner, though more 
speedily than it had risen. The whole terrific spectacle 
lasted about twenty minutes. We were singularly fortunate, 



290 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

as, from what we were told, few eruptions of late liave 
lasted more than four or five minutes, or attained half the 
height of this which we had just witnessed.' 

This account recalls to my recollection what I myself 
saw in the case of the Castle previously described ; but the 
Castle played about twice as long as the Geyser, and, in 
my opinion, cast the water to a greater height. 

Another authority, Mr. Baring-Gould, in the following 
quotation describes his experiences : — 

' Five strokes underground were the signal, then an 
overflow, wetting every side of the mound. Presently a 
dome of water rose in the centre of the basin and fell 
again, immediately to be followed by a fresh bell, which 
sprang into the air full 40 feet high, accompanied by a 
roaring burst of steam. Instantly the fountain began to 
play with the utmost violence : a column rushed up to the 
height of 90 or 100 feet against the grey night sky with 
mighty volumes of white steam-cloud rolling about it, and 
swept off by the breeze to fall in torrents of hot rain. 
Jets and lines of water tore their way through the cloud, 
or leaped high above its domed mass. The earth 
trembled and throbbed during the explosion ; then the 
column sank, started up again, dropped once more, and 
seemed to be sucked back into the earth.' 

The first accounts we have of the Geyser date about 
the middle of the eighteenth century. At that time the 
basin measured, according to Olofsen and Povelsen, 
57 feet in diameter, and was 72 feet deep ; and a column 
of water was ejected from it to the enormous height of 
300 feet. Shortly afterwards, in 1772, Yon Trail esti- 
mated its height at 92 feet. Stanley, in 1789, states that 
the jet of the Geyser attained an altitude of 96 feet. He 
is the first authority who speaks of the Strokker, which, at 
the time of his visit, threw a great volume of water 



HAUKADAL. 291 

130 feet high, thereby surpassing the Geyser; but its 
supremacy did not last long, for in that same year it was 
destroyed by an earthquake. In 1804 the Geyser was 
erupting every six hours, and reaching an elevation of 200 
feet ; and Strokker, having recovered, was about equal to 
it in activity. In 1809 and 1810 Hooker and Mackenzie 
visited Haukadal, and reported that the Geyser operated 
at intervals of thirty hours, casting its jet 100 feet high in 
the former year, and 90 in the latter. At the same epoch 
Strokker was accustomed to play every ten or twelve 
hours to a height of 60 feet. When Henderson observed 
it, in 1815, the Geyser had completely changed its manners 
and customs, for it then spouted every six hours, the 
average altitude attained being 80 feet, while on one 
occasion it threw^ as high as 150 feet. At this time Strokker 
played during one hour out of the twenty-four. Since 
1815 the action of both springs has been very irregular. 
The two fountains much resemble each other. Geyser 
being the superior, though on one or two occasions 
Strokker has surpassed him. The chief difference between 
them is that Strokker can always be excited by feeding 
him with turf and stones, while Geyser spouts just when 
he chooses, and will not suffer himself to be deranged by 
any insult whatever. 

The district of Haukadal is most magnificently situated. 
Towering peaks pierce through mountains clad in ever- 
lasting snow, and frown upon great glaciers that creep 
towards the lava-covered plain. It is a scene awful in its 
desolation and grandeur, and surpasses in scenic efiect 
the environs of the Mammoth Hot Springs and of the two 
Geyser Basins.' 

While it must be conceded, therefore, that the Upper 
and Lower Fire Hole Basins cannot boast of scenery 
that can compare in beauty or grandeur with the 



292 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

# 

surroundings that encompass the volcanic regions of Ice- 
land and New Zealand, and while the two latter coun- 
tries do in some minor respects excel the phenomena 
exhibited in the former, yet I think there is no doubt 
whatever that in Wyoming and Montana are to be found 
not only the most numerous, but also the most note- 
worthy, remarkable, and beautiful examples yet discovered 
of the peculiar volcanic phenomena common to all three 
countries. 

In the United States, in Iceland, and in New Zealand, 
these phenomena may be classed under two heads, acid 
springs and alkaline springs. The first group contains the 
quiescent or constantly-boiling pools, called in Iceland 
' namur,' in New Zealand ' ngauhas,' and all other springs 
having no periodical ebullition : in this category must 
also be ranged the salces, mud-pots, and mud volcanoes. 
The greater number of the Yellowstone springs and 
fountains come under this heading. 

The alkaline division comprises the New Zealand puias 
and Icelandic hverjer, to which belong Geyser and Strokker. 
In this category must be enumerated the geysers — as they 
have come to be called — of the Upper and Lower Fire Hole 
Basins, and all the springs or fountains spounng at inter- 
vals, regular or irregular, and having intervening periods 
of complete inaction. 

Water filtering through the surface and percolating 
deep down into the bowels of the earth, mixing with 
certain mineral substances, acids, and gases, and dissolv- 
ing others with which it comes in contact, changed into 
steam by the agency of subterranean heat, and again 
condensing into water on reapproaching the surface, pro- 
duces in all countries the causes that have resulted in the 
construction of these alkalme and acid springs. 

The steam, the gases, and the water, holding in solution 



CHRONOLOGICAL SUCCESSION. 293 

various minerals, constantly carry their burdens up from 
below and deposit them on the surface of the earth. In 
the first division sulphuric acid is the most active ingre- 
dient ; and its action on surrounding rocks results in the 
ferruginous clays of the mud-pots and salces, and in 
the deposits of alum, sulphur, and sulphate of lime, 
which are common among the solfataras and other acid 
springs. When the supply of sulphuric acid becomes 
exhausted a new system of chemical changes is inaugurated ; 
differeat minerals and gases are brought into play, and 
other substances are precipitated. Carbonic acid disinte- 
grates the rocks, and the silica dissolved by the alkaline 
bicarbonates so produced deposits, in the shape of semi- 
opal, various kinds of quartz, sihcious earth, or pure flint, 
and forms the geyser-tubes and chimneys, and the beau- 
tiful incrustations and ornamentations that I have already 
attempted to describe. By this theory of chronological 
succession, which will be found fully explained in Hoch- 
stetter's ' JSTew Zealand,' it would appear that the quiet pools 
and gently-bubbling fountains are first formed. These, 
changing from acid into alkaline springs, are by degrees 
converted into spouting geysers, insignificant at the com- 
mencement and while the tube is in course of construction, 
but gradually improving and increasing in vigour as the 
pipe lengthens and narrows, until their strength culminates 
at that period of their existence when the tube and funnel 
have attained that relative depth and breadth, and that pro- 
portion of size of bore to length of barrel, which combine 
to make the most perfect apparatus for their purpose, 
and enable them to use the force at their disposal in the 
most advantageous manner possible. They then slowly 
subside as the orifices become more and more thickly en- 
crusted and choked with deposit, until they revert to their 

X 



294 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

piimitive condition of feebly bubbling springs, and finalty 
closing up altogether, give up the ghost, bury themselves 
in their own crater, and remain monuments of the past, 
like the Liberty Cap at Gardiner's Eiver. 

It has been surmised that the operation of a spouting 
geyser is caused by the weight of superincumbent and 
ever-increasing volumes of vapour contained in a subter- 
ranean cavern, which, pressing with constantly augmenting 
force upon the surface of the water beneath, at last 
acquires sufficient elasticity to overcome the resistance of 
the water, and drives it violently out through the vent 
offered by the geyser-tube. Having expelled the water, 
the vapour frees itself and rushes through the same chan- 
nel until equilibrium is restored, and the chamber com- 
mences again to iill up with steam and water. Equilibrium 
does not readily assert itself, because, owing to sinuosities 
and angles in the pipe and cavern, an easy interchange of 
temperatures is impossible. 

But this theory is, I believe, entirely superseded by 
that evolved by Bunsen in the first place, and adopted sub- 
sequently by Professor Forbes. These gentlemen argued 
that the tube was the only mechanism necessary, and that 
the whole operation was conducted in it. They proved that 
water under certain circumstances of position and pres- 
sure, and being subjected to peculiar chemical changes, 
became so cohesive in its particles that it did not boil 
until an extraordinary temperature was reached ; but that 
when cohesion was overcome the molecules separated very 
violentljT-, and steam was instantly generated in vast quan- 
tities with terrific force. The superincumbent column of 
water in the tube, added to the ordinary pressure of the 
atmosphere, caused this peculiar phenomenon to take 
place in the lower portion of the pipe ; steam was generated 
there, and forcing its way upward displaced some of the 



CHEMICAL ANALYSES. 295 

water, the vacant place below being immediately filled 
with steam. This process they supposed to continue until 
the vapour and water were nearly equipoised, when the 
former, receiving additional impulse from a great volume 
of steam suddenly generated in the manner before men- 
tioned, would overcome the latter, and cast the entire 
mass of water violently out of the tube. I can under- 
stand how such a mode of procedure might result in a 
short and vehement explosion, but I do not see how an 
eruption like that of th^ Castle witnessed by me, in which 
water was cast out for twenty minutes, followed by an 
escape of steam which for forty minutes more rushed 
through the pipe, can be accounted for in this way. 
Neither do I comprehend how a tube having the diameter 
of that of the Castle, and being of any reasonable depth, 
could contain anything like the quantity of water that I 
saw ejected from that geyser. 

Appended are some tables showing analyses of water 
and material from New Zealand and Iceland. It may be 
interesting to compare them with those previously given 
of deposit and water from various springs in the Yellow- 
stone district : — 

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF THE WATEE AND THE SILI- 
CIOUS DEPOSITS OE SOME OF THE HOT SPRINGS . 

The Analyses executed in the Laboratory of Professor D. V. Pehling 
AT Stuttgart. 

I. Water. 

No. 1. Te Tuia-niii, near Tokanu on Lake Taupo ; reaction alkaline ; 
analysed by Dr. Kielmaier. 

No. 2. Te Tarata, on the Hotomabana ; reaction neutral ; analysed by Mr. 
Melcboir. 

No. 3. Ruakiwi, on the Rotomahana ; reaction neutral -, analysed by Mr. 
Melchoir. 

No. 4. RotopunamUj on the Rotomahana ; reaction neutral ; analysed by 
Dr. Kielmaier. 

X 2 



296 



THE GREAT DIVIDE. 



In 1,000 parts of the water there were contained, of-- 



Silica . 

Chloride of Sodium 

Total residuum 



In Xo. 1 

0-210 
4-26.3 

4-826 



0-164 
2-504 



2-732 



0-168 
1-992 

2-462 



0-231 
1-192 

1-726 



Owing to the small quantities of water for analysis (one bottle of each), 
only silica, chlorine — computed as chloride of sodium — and the total amount 
of non-volatile ingredients, could be quantitatively ascertained. Qualitatively, 
however, the presence of magnesia, lime, sulphuric acid, and traces of organic 
substances has also been proved. 

II. Silicious deposits of Hot Spriiu/s on the shores of the Rotomahana analysed 
by Mr. Mayer. 

No. 1. TeTarata, two samples: «, an earthy powdery mass: 6, solidified 
incrustation. 

No. 2. Great Ngahapu. 
No. 3. "Whatapoho. 
]^o. 4. Otukapuarangi. 



Silica . 

Water and organ, sub. 

Sesquioxide of Iron l 

Alumina J 

Lime 

Magnesia 

Alkalis . 



86-03 
11-52 

1-21 

0-45 
40 
0-38 



h 
84-78 
12-86 

1-27 



109 



79-34 

14-50 
l-34\ 
3-87 J 
0-27 1 
0-26 J 
042 



88-02 
7-99 



86-80 
11-61 

2-99 [ ®^^^^* ^"" 
L dication. 

0-64] slight in- 

0.4oi '^''*''°"- 



I. Pattison (' Philos. Magazine,' 1844, p. 495), and 

II. Mallet (^ Philos. Magazine,' 1853, v., p. 285), give the following 
analyses of the silicious deposits of the hot springs of Lake Taupo. without, 
however, specifying the localities. 



Silica .... 


. 77-35 


94-20 


A.lumina 


. 9-70 


1-58 


Sesquioxide of Iron 


. 3-72 


0-17 


Lime .... 


. 1-54 


Indic. 


Chloride of Sodium 


— 


0-85 


Water .... 


. 7-66 


3-06 




99-97 


99-86 


Specific gravity . 


. 1-968 


2031 



THE ICELAXD GEYSER. 



297 



From Scrihners Magazine for June, 1871,1 submit 
Dr. Black's analysis of 10,000 grains (about ^tli of a 
gallon) of water from the Great Geyser in Iceland : — 



Soda . 

Alumina 

Silica 

Muriate of Soda 

Dry Sulphate of Soda 



0-95 
0-48 
5-40 
2-46 
1-46 

1075 



An analysis made by Forcbammer of Iceland gQj- 
serite gave the appended results : — 



Silica 


. 84-43 


Water .... 


7-88 


Alimiina .... 


3-07 


Iron 


1-91 


Lime ..... 


0-70 


Soda and Potassa 


0-92 


Magnesia .... 


1-06 




99-97 




THE GREAT DIVIDE. 



CHAPTEE VIII. 

A COMPKEHENSIVE REVIEW. 

We left tliis extraordinary district with great regret : 
fain would we have tarried longer in it. An opportunity 
for exploration such as none of us had ever before en- 
joyed was most temptingly displayed, and very gladly 
would we have availed ourselves of it. Four years ago 
the white world knew absolutely notliing of the country 
we were leaving. The few legends of Indian tribes, and 
the vague rumours of hunters that occasionally came to 
the surface and were wafted out from the wilderness to 
the ears of civilised men, were entirely disbelieved, or 
were looked upon as fables built on the very smallest 
foundation of truth ; and its wonders were covered with 
a mystery as profound as that which broods over the 
sources of the Nile. And even now scarcely anything is 
known about it. A few parties go in from Virginia 
City and out at Bozeman, all following the same trail, 
examining the same objects, halting at the same places. 
They never stray any distance from the usual route, and 
there are hundreds of valleys into which no human foot 
has ever burst, thousands of square miles of forest whose 
depths have never yet been penetrated by the eye of man. 
It is extremely improbable that the area of volcanic 
activity is confined to the limited space occupied by the 
two Geyser Basins, and it is very possible that other 
depressions may be found containing springs and geysers 
as great as, or even more important than, those I liave 



TERRA INCOGNITA. 299 

attempted to describe. The scenery is beautiful, the 
cKmate most healthy ; game is abundant, and every lake 
and river teems with trout. It is a district afford- 
ing infinite scope to the tourist in quest of novelty, the 
hunter, or the scientific traveller. Compared with other 
districts equally prolific in big game, it enjoys a wonderful 
immunity from that great bugbear of the hunter, the hos- 
tile Eedskin. It is true that on the way into the Upper 
Yellowstone country, and down anywhere in the valleys 
that lead out upon the plains, it would be necessary at 
certain times to keep a good look-out for Indians, for the 
Sioux come up occasionally out of the boundless wilder- 
ness of their prairies, looking after the horses of the 
settlers, or of the Crows, and lurk for weeks about the 
passes ; but they dare not penetrate far into the moun- 
tains ; and, terrified at the strange sights and sounds 
therein, ail Indians now carefully avoid the uncanny pre- 
cincts of ' Wonderland.' A few wretched sheep-eaters 
are said to linger in the fastnesses of the mountains about 
Clarke's Fork ; but their existence is very doubtful ; and at 
any rate, they are a harmless, timid race. The traveller 
has to keep a sharper look-out for white horse-thieves than 
for Eedskin robbers, and with ordinary precaution the 
country can be traversed in perfect safety. 

The stock of information concerning it as yet ac- 
quired is extremely small, and, with the exception of 
the compilations of the various Government expedi- 
tions, the accounts are untrustworthy and inaccurate. 
Very anxious were we to add our mite to the general 
fund in the w^ay of something newly discovered and 
observed ; but winter was drawing nigh, and, as we had no 
mind to be blocked in to the southward of Mount Wash- 
burne, we returned reluctantly to our camp. 

It had been our intention to go from the Fire Hole 



300 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

Basin down the Madison to Virginia City, thus making a 
round trip of it, and obviating the necessity of passing 
over the same ground twice ; but, owing to our stock 
being so poor and in such bad condition, we were com- 
pelled to abandon this idea, and take the back track home ; 
for though the distance from the Geysers to Virginia 
City is shorter than that to Fort Ellis, we knew that by 
adopting the latter route we could, if necessary, get fresh 
animals at Boteler's. We found our camp all right, so far 
as the bipeds were concerned, except that they were hard 
up for food, for the country had produced no game ; but 
they had succeeded in losing a mule — an accident that was 
rather serious, for by it one of the party was dismounted. 

The day after our return we packed up and marched 
to Tower Falls, arriving there many hours after dark. 
We could not for a long time find any way of getting 
down to the creek, which rushed foaming beneath, and 
had much difficulty in selecting a spot suitable for a camp. 

Boteler and I had ridden a-head rapidly with the pur- 
pose of ascending Mount Washburne in the event of the 
evening giving promise of a clear view. The day turned 
out cloudy, and we hesitated about the ascent ; but most 
fortunate was it that we executed our resolution, for we 
were rewarded with a magnificent sight. We got to the 
top with about an hour's hght by sun. The atmosphere 
was very transparent, though the day was by no means 
fine. Heavy masses of vapour were clinging to the higher 
peaks, streaming out from their summits in long ragged 
whifts or encircling their sides ; and dense clouds slowly 
drifting occasionally obscured the sun. Great splinters of 
light darting through ragged-edged rifts in the clouds 
struck downward, slanting to the earth, or, spreading out 
through some larger opening in straight divergent lines 
of brilliancy, illunnnated the landscape. Huge masses of 



WASHBURNE PANORAMA. 301 

cumulus blazed round their storm-foreboding edges with 
intense white light ; piles of black threatening clouds 
rolled themselves in fantastic shapes above the horizon. 
In the distance little fragments of rainbow — w^ind-dogs, 
as sailors call them — tipped the verge of the inky black- 
ness of some passing rain storm that swept across the 
sky. Everything betokened that a tempest was at hand, 
and the sky, vexed and angry, looked magnificent in its 
wrath. At one moment the earth was all shadow ; then 
a sun-burst would strike a patch of yellow prairie or belt 
of trees and gild the earth with golden glory ; or it would 
brush across it a momentary streak of vivid green, and 
slowly moving would sparkle for an instant like a dia- 
mond on some hidden lake, and passing over the land- 
scape fade in the distance and vanish away. The smallest 
outlines on the horizon were clearly defined, and the 
whole middle distance was shifting and changing in broad 
bands of light and shade. 

On such a day as this, when the sky is overcast, and 
the air unnaturally clear foretells a coming storm, far 
finer effects are enjoyed than can be seen under the cloud- 
less heavens that are so usual in these latitudes. 

There is no difficulty in reaching the top of Mount 
Washburne. We rode to within ^yq or six hundred 
yards of the crag that forms the summit, from which 
the view is quite unique. Turn in what direction it may, 
the eye wanders over a chaotic mass of mountains, and 
vainly seeks some distinct central object on which to 
light, until, wearied and bewildered with such infinite 
disorder, it thankfully rests upon the rolling billows of 
forest which afford momentary relief, but soon in their 
turn become irksome from their vast monotony. 

Let us examine the panorama somewhat in detail. 
Stand by me with your face to the north. Eight before us 



302 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

lies the valley of the Yellowstone, golden in the slanting 
rays of the setting sun, and beyond it are the great up- 
heaved masses that form its borders. Most noticeable for 
beauty of outline, cutting clear and sharp against a pale 
green patch of sky, is Emigrant's Peak, a fine feature in a 
noble group of mountains. A good deal nearer, but almost 
in the same line, rises the bold promontory that forms one 
of the portals of the third caiion, standing out tall and 
menacing as though warning men not to attempt the 
gloomy gorges that it guards ; and a little to the right of 
it gapes the grim chasm of Hell Eoaring Creek. 

To the east is a vague and apparently orderless mass 
of peaks, tossed about in the wildest confusion, looking as 
if ranges originally elevated in some sort of decent order 
had been pressed inwards from the edges with irresistible 
force, and crumpled up towards the centre ; or resembling 
the waves of a rough sea in a tidal race, when, instead 
of running in regular billows, the water dashes up pre- 
cipitously and unexpectedly in all directions. In the fore- 
ground is a huge flat-topped mountain, bald and scarred, 
desolate in the extreme ; and behind it the notched, jagged 
horns of Index and Pilot Peaks pierce the clouds ; while 
far in the distance loom the dim outlines of the Big Horn 
range. 

Turning to the right we see the great snow-capped 
summits cradling the infant streamlets which form Clarke's 
Fork of the Yellowstone. From their rugged wild 
barrenness the eye falls abruptly, but gratefully, upon 
a scene of placid peacefulness rendered all the more 
striking by contrast. Washing the rough bases of the 
range with its clear waters lies the lake, shining like a 
gem in the dark setting of the forest, dotted with islands, 
pierced by promontories, calm, unruffled, beautiful ; a 
goddess clasped in the mighty arms of the mountain. 



A WIDE REVERIE. 303 

Still turning, the eye wanders over a vast plateau of un- 
dulating woods, broken here and there by open patches 
of grey or yellow prairie, formerly lake basins, for round 
the water and the places where water has once been the 
growth of timber forms an exact fringe. It then gazes in 
astonishment for a moment on the savage Tetons, looming 
huge and indistinct of outline in the blue evening mist, and 
roams over a boundless ocean of forest, extending from the 
south-west round to west, unbroken, unrelieved by a single 
peak, till it rests upon the Madison range, which, com- 
mencing nearly due west, extends far away into the realms 
of the mysterious north. A little nearer to us, and trend- 
ing in the same direction, the Gallatin Mountains surge 
upwards till their peaks also fade away towards the dim 
distant north land. Just beneath our feet a heavily tim- 
bered valley opens out into a rolling upland prairie, 
spreading away on all sides tow^ards the river, while to the 
south and east the Grand Canon cuts through the bases of 
two mountains. Although in reality distant, the chasm 
appears at hand, for from your commanding position you 
can partly pierce its awful interior, and almost fancy 
you can catch a glimpse of the white waters of the river 
foaming below you at a vast and unascertained depth. 
But no glancing eddy really catches your eye ; not even the 
faintest echo of the roar anel tumult of the strife of river 
and of rock arises from the black profundity of that gulf. 

Tired with this excess of mountains, bewildered with 
peaks, smothered in forest, let the traveller rest awhile, 
and suffer his mind dreamily to wander in memory or 
imagination along the banks of those water-courses that 
rise around him. He will have in thought to travel 
through many a strange land. 

An interest far greater than that produced by mere 
scenic effects attaches to the naked crao^ on which he sits. 



304 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

That rock is the summit of a mountain which forms the 
cuhninating point of the ridge that rules the water-courses 
of the United States. Stretching out its arms between the 
streams, it seems to say to one ' Eun in this direction,' 
and to another ' Flow in that.' It launches into life the 
river that forms the valley of the Mississippi, a vast and 
fertile region destined in the future to be one of the most 
populous places on earth. That rock is the key-stone of 
the continent. It is the very crest of ' The Great Divide.' 

From it has been traced out the geography of the 
country. The main divisions, the great centres of trade, 
together with the natural features that sway the fates of 
men and nations, radiate thence ; and by a citizen of the 
United States the spot should be regarded as sacred 
ground. From it he can overlook the sources of the 
Yellowstone, the Wind Eiver, and the Missouri, and 
of the Snake and Green Eivers, principal tributaries the 
one of the Columbia, the other of the Colorado. 

These waters flow through every variety of climate, past 
the dwellings of savage hordes and civilised nations, through 
thousands of miles of unbroken solitude, and through 
the most populous haunts of mercantile mankind ; now 
shaded by the great pine-trees of the forest, again shadowed 
by tall factory chimneys ; there clear and undeiiled from the 
hand of Nature, then turbid and contaminated by contact 
with man ; and from Mount Washburne I believe that the 
head waters can be seen of mightier rivers — rivers passing 
through more populous cities, through the hunting-grounds 
of more wild tribes, through greater deserts, through coun- 
tries more rankly fertile, through places more uncivilised 
and savage, by scenes stranger and more varied — than can 
be viewed from any other point on the surface of this earth. 

Impressed by the spectacle, I sat down upon a weather- 
beaten granite crag, and fell into a reverie. 



THE MIGHTY MISSOURI. 305 

On the left hand, looking towards the north, spring 
three streams, the Gallatin, the Madison, and the Jeffer- 
son, forks of the largest river on the continent. After 
short separate courses they unite, and are called the 
Missouri ; and there I in fancy launched my birch canoe. 
It would be scarcely necessary to paddle. Swiftly by 
the strong current we should be borne along until, 
while yet at a distance of many miles, the dim haze 
of spray and the confused roar of waters would warn 
us that we were nearing the ' Great Falls of the Missouri.' 
I wonder how many people know that the river has 
any great falls at all. Before my visit to Montana all 
I had of it was an indistinct idea of its length, and 
a vague notion that the ' mighty Missouri rolled down 
to the sea.' But there they are, obstructing all fur- 
ther navigation, falls and rapids which in any better 
known country would be highly appreciated and thought 
a great deal of. The Missouri, even at the distance 
of over 3,000 miles from the sea, carries a great volume 
of water, perhaps three or four times as much as the 
Thames at Eichmond. It varies in breadth consider- 
ably, sometimes contracting to 300 yards, and spreading 
out elsewhere to nearly a quarter of a mile. The Great 
Falls consist of a series of cataracts and cascades, occu- 
pying some fifteen or twenty miles of the river's course. 
In one place, where the river is very broad, it is traversed 
by a level, straight-edged, perpendicular ridge of 50 feet in 
height, over which the water pours in a massive, unbroken 
sheet. The principal fall is about 80 feet in vertical 
height. For 400 yards above the brow the stream is 
compressed, and penned in by two converging sheer cliffs 
100 feet in height, which contract the channel to a 
breadth of not more than 100 yards. The ridge is not, 
in this case, uniform. For 80 or 100 yards from the left 



306 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

bank it shows an unbroken edge, over whicli the river 
plunges in a perpendicular fall ; but for the remaining 200 
yards it has given way, and forms a steep, broken, jagged 
slope, down which the current rushes, foaming, leaping, 
and dashing into clouds of spray. Between these two 
falls, and for a little distance above and below them, the 
channel is constantly crossed by dykes more or less 
broken, forming pitches and rapids of from two to twenty 
feet in height. 

Having made a portage of eighteen miles round these 
obstacles, let us again entrust ourselves to our fragile 
bark, and the river will carry us for a distance of 120 
miles through a wild and savage country, to where, near 
Fort Benton, it is swelled by a large tributary, the Marias, 
and turns suddenly to the east, forming the ' Great Bend.' 
After that it passes through the Judith Basin, a land full of 
buffalo and other game ; its current navigable, when the 
waters are high, by steamers, taking stores and Indian mer- 
chandise to Benton, and carrying down costly furs from the 
great north-west. Yet not many men drink of its muddy 
waters, except the Crows, Grosventres, Black Feet, As- 
sineboins, or Sioux, who hunt or make war along its 
banks. After a course in an easterly direction of about 
250 miles it is joined by the Milk Eiver, which flows 
from the north-west, having its source in the icy fast- 
nesses of the Eocky Mountains in British territory, and 
traversing the hunting-grounds of Bloods, Piegans, and 
Black Feet, Kristeneaux or Crees, and Assineboins or 
Stonies, as they are sometimes called ; and a little further 
it is swelled by the current of the Yellowstone, which 
rises in the lovely lake below me. Here is situated 
another outpost of civihsation. Fort Buford. 

All this time we shall have been gradually changing 
for the worse in respect of climate and scenery. If we 



CLIMATIC EXTREMES. 307 

are journeying in winter, the weather will have been turn- 
ing colder and more stormy, as we left behind us the 
warm radiating masses of the mountains and the soft 
breezes from the Pacific. This deterioration is very re- 
markable ; so great indeed is the climatic change that I 
have been told that war parties from the neighbourhood of 
Fort Buford and the Lower Yellowstone, travelling north 
to strike at their hereditary foes, are frequently compelled 
to use their snow shoes till they get near the spurs of the 
hills, where not a vestige of snow^ is to be seen, and they 
are enabled to cache their raquets, and pursue the jour- 
ney on unencumbered feet. We shall have been leaving 
also the rolling prairie, covered with short crisp bufialo 
grass, and the rich alluvial bottoms, carrying a rank 
vegetation, in which willows, alders, and wild cherries 
grow. We shall have passed through the true home and 
breeding-ground of the bison, through that great plateau 
over whose vast sad solitudes Sissapapas, Unkpapas, 
Yanktonaise, Sansarks, and other northern divisions of 
the Dakotah nation are for ever restlessly wandering, 
following the herds which supply them with food and 
with all the necessaries of life, and we shall have gra- 
dually entered upon the most dismal, most peculiar region 
on the continent. 

For days and days we dreamily paddle through 
scenery, heart-breaking in its dull, hideous monotony. For 
hundreds of miles the river washes against its banks of 
clay, getting yellower and muddier as it flows. If we 
stop and climb a bluff, we shall see nothing but a brown 
desert of dried mud, looking as if the waters had left the 
surface only long enough for it to be cracked and scorched 
by the sun, and to allow of the growth of a few shrubs of 
cactus and artemisia. Nothing breaks the dull meaning- 
less stupidity of the round plain ; flat, sad-coloured, grey 



308 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

or olive-green, bounded by blue walls of sky. Not a single 
bit of bright colour, no object of beauty, not a shade even 
of pleasant verdure refreshes the tired eye. Everywhere 
is brown mud, grey clay, or white alkali ; everything 
is graceless, hideous, and depressing. 

As we sweep round the curve of one more link in the 
endless chain of river reaches, we may perhaps see an 
Indian, stooping to lap the water from his hands, suddenly 
leap erect, startled by the paddle-strokes, snatch at 
his pony, sling himself into the saddle, and vanish over 
the neighbouring rise. Probably he is one of those fierce 
warriors of the north, the Black Feet, offshoot of the Da- 
kotah nation, once formidable, now almost exterminated 
by disease. Or he may be of a kindred but hostile band, 
and belong to a war party of Minneconjou Sioux, in- 
trepid raiders, who, descending from their northern 
plains, harry the cattle and lift the stock of settlers on 
tlie Platte or the Eepublican, and penetrate in search 
of horses away down into Texas, 800 or 1,000 miles 
from the tents of their tribe. In either case it behoves 
us to be very careful. No hot coffee for supper, for 
we dare not make a fire ; the least impression of our 
feet, the smallest curl of smoke, would betray us. No 
more landing on the bank, for all such signs as those 
an Indian can read as a white man reads a book. 
But all night long we will paddle on, the weather-worn 
clay banks looking grotesquely ghostly under the dim 
light of the stars. We are passing through the mauvais 
terre of Dakotahs, one of the most extraordinary districts, 
geologically speaking, in the world. The high clay, sand, 
or sandstone cliffs and bluffs that form the shores have 
been carved by rains, split by heat, and weathered into 
forms so various and fantastic that only the brush of a 
Gustave Dore could do justice to their weird wildness. 



A PIPING TiyiE OF PEACE. 309 

In places it looks as if the river were running through 
the ruins of some Cyclopean city ; an illusion that is 
heightened by the fact that on the summits of detached 
pinnacles and towers the massive forms of mountain sheep 
may very frequently be seen. It is a desert of clay, 
alkali, and sage-brush, uninhabited and uninhabitable. 

Still through a country of wild tribes the now mighty 
river pursues its way, gradually bending to the south, 
bordering the elevated plateau or Coteau-du-Prairie, past 
villages of Minatarees, Mandans, and Arikarees. 

Southward ever roll its waters, shaggy with imbedded 
pine-trees, yellow with the clays of the ' bad lands,' re- 
ceiving the currents of the Big Cheyenne, the Mobrara, 
and many lesser tributaries, slowly, very slowly emerg- 
ing from utter barbarism into semi-civilisation. Indians 
still crowd the banks, sit chattering and laughing on the 
beach, or saunter listlessly about. But many are dressed 
in European clothes, and are very different men from the 
free wild savage of the plains. We are passing settle- 
ments of the different Teton sub -tribes, and of the Yanck- 
ton division of the Sioux. 

To the east of us, not very far from the 'grand 
detour,' lies a district most interesting from the fact that 
in it is found the great red-pipe stone quarry, where from 
time immemorial all the Indian tribes have been accus- 
tomed to resort in mutual peace, to gather material for 
the fashioning of their calumets. At these meetings the 
hatchet was buried, and for the time being hereditary 
and bitter foes met on terms of friendship. It was a sort 
of sanctuary, a common property, belonging to no tribe 
in particular, a place where they could all freely inter- 
change ideas and barter merchandise. And, no doubt, 
from the facilities of intercommunication thus afforded 
many good results must have arisen. 

Y 



310 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

Among the sand-hills that fringe the western bank, 
stealing parties and war parties from the two principal 
bands of the Sioux, the Brules and Ogallalas, trail and 
track the hunters of Pawnees, Otoes, Winnebagoes, or 
Omahas, through whose reservations the river runs. 
These half- civilised men, who have learned all the vices 
and few of the virtues of the whites, mix freely with 
the hunters, trappers, and traders, who pursue their 
avocations with less risk and smaller profits than their 
fellows on the upper streams. Steamers ply upon the 
busy stream, and just before where the Platte — that pre- 
posterous river, miles broad in places, and only a few 
inches in depth — pours in its yellow sands, it sweeps 
between the rival cities of Omaha and Council Bluffs. 

After a brief glimpse of settlements, we should suffer 
a partial relapse into barbarism. 

We should see scattered parties wandering up from the 
' Indian territory ' of the Cherokee or Chocktaw nations, 
men who live in houses, cultivate large farms, go to 
Sunday-school, and wear store-clothes. These tribes are 
rich and prosperous, and offer almost the only instance of 
the native race proving strong enough, physically and 
morally, to withstand the deleterious effect of our superior 
state of existence. With them we should see members 
of their affiliated tribes, little remnants of eastern clans, 
whose very names suggest a history of wrong, bloodshed, 
and injustice ; of white men tortured, of Indians mas- 
sacred, of injury unprovoked, of reprisal, revenge, and ex- 
termination ; Seminoles, Delawares, Shawnees, Sacks and 
Foxes, Senecas, Wyandottes, tribes from the borders of the 
sea, from the misty lakes of the north land, from the red 
pine-forests of Virginia, the Carolinas and Florida, who till 
the land of the territory, and look with envy on the few 
marauding wild men from the plains, Cheyennes and 



QUANTUM MUTATUS! 311 

Sioux, Arapahoes, Kiowas, or Comanches, who may 
chance at rare intervals to water their horses at the brink. 
But this debateable land is soon passed, and over the 
broad still bosom of the river, cutting through the rich 
alluvial soil of Missouri, we slowly urge our boat. 

According to geographers, we should soon have to 
leave, in name at least, the river that we have followed 
from its birth, for we are approaching the place where 
the clear-flowing Mississippi pours in its waters from 
Minnesota, land of lakes. But as the Missouri is alto- 
gether the largest stream, has a larger course, drains a 
far greater extent of country, and carries a heavier body 
of water, and as, after the junction, it gives its character 
and colour to the combined rivers, I maintain that below 
the union of the two the river should be called Missouri, 
and not Mississippi. After passing the quaint old French 
settlement of St. Charles, not so very long ago a fi'ontier 
town of importance, we should glide into the shadow of 
the huge arches of the St. Louis bridge, and haul our 
canoe up on the levee of the Queen City of the West. 

What an a\vful change has taken place ! Can this 
turbid, sullen flood, reeking with the filth of cities, swirl- 
ing sulkily through the arches, frothing on its slimy 
banks, torn and beaten by the paddles of countless 
steamers, be the same stream that leaped into life in the 
northern sierras, and sweet with 'the odour of the forest, 
with the dew and damp of meadows, with the curling 
smoke of wigwams,' rushed through its ' palisade of pine- 
trees ' ? How utterly incongruous and out of place do 
we appear, and our poor little birch canoe, in this busy 
hive of men, this great city of 300,000 inhabitants ! 
What do the men who jostle and stare at us know of the 
free life of the prairie and the woods, though in their 
warehouses are stored thousands and thousands of buffalo 



312 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

robes and skins ? The best thing we can do is to get out 
of our moccasins, buckskins, and flannels, and, with the 
help of the barber and the dry-goods store, transform 
ourselves into civilised beings in white shirts, black store- 
clothes, and plug hat. How horribly uncomfortable we 
shall feel ! How red and weather-beaten our faces will 
appear ! And as to our hands — well, the less said about 
them the better. 

There is plenty to be seen and done at St. Louis ; but, 
if I linger to describe it, I shall awake out of my reverie 
before I can reach the sea. We must hurry up, step on 
board that palatial steamer just about to cast off from the 
levee, and continue the journey. If we desire to be very 
luxurious we can have a ' bridal chamber,' all hung with 
blue satin, ' real elegant.' Very pleasantly pass the days, 
with the help of good cigars, a few juleps, and a little 
gambling ; the placid monotony of the time disturbed 
only by the bustle of arrival and departure at the nume- 
rous landing-stages that line the shores, and at which the 
steamer takes in or discharges bales o'f cotton and tobacco, 
hogsheads of sugar, barrels of pork, and flour for the 
field hands. Past rich alluvial steamy banks fringed 
with reeds, where tall canes and palmettoes take the 
place of the northern pine, we rush along through 
dreary cedar swamps, where the long funereal Spanish 
moss hangs dismally forlorn from the rotting boughs, past 
deserted mansions, abandoned plantations, and ruined 
homes. It is a country across the face of which ' Ichabod ' 
is plainly written, for the glory has indeed departed from 
it — a land whereon the stamp, not so much of war as of 
subsequent injustice, has been indelibly imprinted. Yet we 
are steaming through the very richest portion of the once- 
prosperous, happy South. There are large tracts far 
worse than this, where railways are bankrupt, canals 



SOUTHERN WRONGS. 313 

choked, roads impracticable, and tlie country is fast 
reverting to its primitive condition. But to no fault on 
the part of the people is this almost universal ruin to be 
attributed. Nobly have they struggled against adverse 
fates and striven to right themselves, and most evilly 
entreated have they been by their conquerors. With 
fire and sword the North had to cut out and cauterise 
the foul sore of Slavery ; but the hand that held the 
knife ought to have been the first to heal the wound. 
How generously they spoke ! What fair promises were 
lavished upon the beaten foe ! The seceded States were 
to reconstruct themselves : no prolonged military rule 
was to sully their freed soil ! Civil rights and govern- 
ment were to be instituted at once. Arrests were rare, 
confiscations not frequent — in theory at least ; but in 
practice it makes not much difference whether a man's 
property in land is sequestered, or whether the taxes on 
it are so heavy, and so unjustly levied, that he cannot pos- 
sibly retain the soil. The restoration of civil rights meant 
too often the enfranchisement of a majority of ignorant 
men, who, not having had time to educate themselves, or 
to become accustomed to the novelty of the situation, 
proved mere foolish tools in the hands of unscrupulous 
agents. The tax-payers and rate-payers, the employers 
of capital and labour, had but a feeble voice in their 
deliberations, and had no control over the reckless system 
of finance that was frequently inaugurated. 

It makes one sad to remember the golden promises 
that were held out, the flattering prophecies that, now 
that the stain of Slavery was removed, the South would 
become more than ever prosperous ; to think of the plucky 
spirit in which the beaten people acknowledged their 
complete defeat, accepted inevitable consequences, and set 
to work to build up their shattered fortunes ; and now to 



314 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

see how few of these promises have been fulfilled — how 
lamentably at variance with prophecies the result has 
proved to be ! There is no doubt that the Northern 
people wished to deal fairly and kindly by their kindred ; 
but the exigencies of party strife ran counter to the 
better feelings of the people. Unfamihar with politics 
until the fortune of war raised him to pre-eminence, the 
Chief Authority in the State could do little in the way of 
following out his own will, or of controlling and guiding 
the strong party movement that conducted to his eleva- 
tion. People wonder and lament that the times are dull 
and trade is failing ; that immigrants return to Canada 
or Europe ; that there is no money for legitimate specu- 
lation, and no confidence in business matters between 
man and man ; and every quack has some patent medi- 
cine to arrest the progress of the wasting debility with 
which the State is afflicted. Sorry physicians indeed are 
they who cannot discern the true nature of the disease 
when the body politic hes crippled before them, its lower 
limbs paralysed by the elTects of the drugs they have 
themselves administered. Bitterly will the nation some 
day repent the short-sighted policy that induced their 
rulers to harass and despoil the richest provinces of the 
Union — in the spirit of children, unable to resist the 
temptation of proving their triumph — ' cutting off their 
noses to spite their faces,' sacrificing the future of the 
community to the present of their friends. 

Still southward rolls the flood ; heavier and more stag- 
nant grows the atmosphere ; gloomier and wider spread 
the lagoons and bayous. Turtles float on the surface ; 
alligators bask in the sun ; milhons of fireflies glance and 
glitter under the shadows of the trees. The night is 
too close and oppressive for sound sleep ; but towards 
morning a fresh cool air, smacking of the sea, refreshes 



NEW ORLEANS. 315 

one's fevered cheek, and before sun-rise we are landed at 
the dear, quaint, picturesque, old-fashioned French market 
at New Orleans. 

All hail to the pleasant memories that jostle in my 
brain, and strive to run down through my pen, when I 
think of you, crescent city ! What a charming place 
you must have been before the war ! Even now — ruined, 
torn by factions, help-begrudged, government be-Granted, 
trade- bedevilled and ' busted up ' generally, you are a 
most hospitable and amusing and delightful city. New 
Orleans is quite different from any other town on the 
continent, with the single exception perhaps of St. Augus- 
tine. Portuguese fishermen wrangle in their harsh jargon 
on the quay ; French Creoles — some of them old settlers of 
Louisiana, some descendants of Acadians expelled from 
Nova Scotia — gossip in the market-place. Streets are 
crooked, houses picturesque ; the red sashes of fishermen 
and the gaudy handkerchiefs of the negroes predominate 
largely over the black cloth or white linen of the clerks. 
There is a tone of bright colour in the place, and a look 
of old Europe about it. We ought to stop some time at 
New Orleans, but we shall be catching cold on our breezy 
crag ; so in spirit let us hurry on still south towards the sea. 

Cotton and tobacco are left behind ; through swampy, 
miasmatic savannahs and rice plantations the river 
dawdles, scarcely moving, old and weary, tired with 
the long race that it has run, melancholy with the scenes 
it has passed through, worn out with the strife and 
struggle of life — all enjoyment in existence gone, the 
brightness of its youth forgotten, the memory even de- 
parted of the days when it leapt flashing and exulting in 
the sun, and, brimful of exuberant life, flowed laughing 
through the prairies, and brawled and battled noisily 
with the obstacles in its way. Very quietly and sadly it 



316 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

wanders on now through its delta, seeking only for rest 
and peace, hoping soon to lay down the burden of existence 
and be still, till at last, after a course of countless miles, 
after traversing or bounding numerous states and terri- 
tories, and draining many thousands of square miles, it 
spreads its arms out thankfully, and wearily sinks asleep 
on the heaving bosom of the Gulf. And the little grain 
of hard sand, the minute fragment of feldspar or quartz, 
snatched from its rocky cradle at our feet on Mount 
Washburne, finds a tomb at last in the still depths of 
Ocean, and sinks to form part of a new continent — a 
minute helper in the universal scheme, a humble instru- 
ment in the hands of the great Architect of all. 

Turning south, and looking towards Henry's Lake, 
my eyes rest upon the broken country in which spring 
the sources of Green Eiver. Varied are the scenes 
and strange the circumstances that attend upon the Mis- 
souri in its long course from the mountains to the sea ; 
but, apart from mercantile associations, that river cannot 
for a moment compare in general interest with the stream 
whose coiu-se I will attempt briefly to describe. For, 
through regions much wilder, more remote, and less 
known to white men ; through lands unsurveyed, almost 
unexplored; through valleys, plateaus, and mountains, 
equally remarkable with those of the north country, and 
having in addition a halo of vague surmise, a mist of 
southern romance and Spanish chivalry hanging over 
them, flow the waters that I now glance upon. 

Green Eiver has a nearly due south course of about 
350 miles. At first it runs leaping and laughing through 
the hills and fertile valleys or forests like a happy romp- 
ing child ; but its youthful season of light-heartedness 
does not last long, and it soon enters upon the dry, cold, 
ungraceful duties of life. For many miles it traverses 



GREEN RIVER. 317 

that portion of the great basin that used to be called the 
Colorado Desert, a flat miserable country, devoid of 
beauty, dull and uninteresting in the sad-coloured same- 
ness of its dreary wastes. Plains white with alkali, or 
shaded green by a partial covering of sage-brush, and 
deserts supporting only a few artemisia bushes and grease- 
wood shrubs, form the general character of this country. 

In the midst of this desolation the traveller would 
suddenly be recalled to the recollection of arts, sciences, 
and engineering skill, and to the knowledge that such a 
thing as civilisation still existed, by passing under the 
tressel-bridge of the Union Pacific Railway. After leav- 
ing behind him this token from the great world of cities 
and of progress, the scene very much improves. The river 
strikes upon the bold front of the Wahsatch Mountains, 
and, forced out of its course, runs along the base of the 
range, busily seeking an outlet, which it finds at last 
through a gap between the Wahsatch and the Sierra 
Escalente. Having passed through the range, it soon 
bends a little to the westward, to make up for its former 
easterly digression, and enters upon a country entirely 
altered in its natural features and principal characteristics, 
and frequented by different representatives of the human 
race. It ploughs its way through fertile table-lands, and 
bursts through mountains ; and though Utes, Shoshones, and 
other Indians kindred to the tribes we have been hitherto 
accustomed to, still drink of its waters, yet it is hastening 
rapidly towards the hunting-grounds and villages of very 
different branches of the native stock. The few white 
men, too, that might be met with are dissimilar in appear- 
ance, clothing, and language to the hunters and trappers 
of the North. 

The barbarous nomenclature of the Anglo-American 
race is left behind. We are now in a country to which 



318 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

the very names of the mountains, rivers, and passes give 
a certain amount of melodious interest. There is a 
remnant of the old chivalry of the Spanish invader 
clinging to it. We have done with Big Sandies, Little 
Thomsons, Bitter Creeks, Muddy Creeks, Muggin's 
Gulches, Smith's Pass, and Brown, Jones, or Eobinson's 
Peaks. Now we pass streams picturesquely named after 
some saint, or from the anniversary of some particular 
feast or festival, or from some peculiarity of vegetation 
or geological appearance, such as the Eio San Eafael, 
the San Juan Eiver, the Eio de los Dolores ; and streams 
rising in sierras, like the Sierra de los Pinos, Sierra Sangre 
de Christo, Sierra San Miguel, Sierra de la Plata, Sierra 
Abajo, or Sierra la Sal, discharge their clear waters into 
the river. We pass by Ojos and Lagunas, or ride over 
Mesas, Vegas, and Llanos. Irrigating canals, though still 
remaining dirty ditches, sound much prettier when called 
acequias ; an arroyo is a pretty paraphrase for a muddy 
water-course ; and villages convey a false but pleasant 
impression to us when metamorphosed into pueblos. The 
ordinary circumstances of life and daily travel become 
interesting and acquire an extrinsic value in our eyes by 
the mere change of names. 

Though still in the United States, we are in a land 
which could not be more utterly unlike the regions 
traversed by the Missouri, if it were divided from them 
by leagues of ocean, or ruled by another government, 
and owned by another race. The melodiousness of 
the Spanish names adds, I think, very much to the 
pleasure of travelhng in countries that have been under 
the domination of that race. What a pity it is that the 
American people (by American people I mean the 
citizens of the United States) have not more universally 
adopted the Indian, Spanish, or French names ! It seems 



STILL WINDING ITS WAY. 319 

impossible for the Anglo-Saxon to invent a picturesque 
or appropriate nomenclature to describe the principal 
features of a new country, while the aborigines, and the 
Spanish or French voyageurs, prospectors, and explorers 
have generally managed to hit upon some expression which 
either conveys a just idea of a peculiarity in the place, or 
is at any rate poetical in meaning and sonorous in sound. 
Through mountains, or elevated fertile gently-rolling 
plains covered with timber and dotted with fresh-water 
lakes. Green Eiver for 200 miles carves its way, receiv- 
ing in the first fifty miles of its Alpine course the waters of 
the Zampah, the Uiutah, and the White Eiver ; the Uintah 
rising among the masses of the Wahsatch, the other two in 
those great elevated nuclei of mountains which I have 
already mentioned as existing on the confines of the north 
and middle parks of Colorado. Clear as crystal run the 
waters of these two tributaries, which spring among per- 
petual snows and flow through metamorphic ranges ; the 
little specks of mica — pilgrims' gold, as it is sometimes 
called — rolling down among their granite sand, glittering 
and sparkling in the sun, like flecks of the precious 
metal. Bright messages they bring from the Highlands 
of Colorado, the Switzerland of America, telhng of smiling 
valleys, warm sheltered parks, of lakes and ever-flowing 
streams. They linger a moment in the broad glare of sun, 
and then plunge sullenly into the gloomy depths of the 
canon that hides the parent stream. 

In the lower portion of its course the river cuts 
through a region that is better described as an elevated 
plateau than as a mountain range. Here it is joined by 
its eastern fork or chief tributary. The wandering hunter 
or savage, travelling along above the dark depths of the 
river-bed, would notice on his left as he descended the 
stream another great rent in the plateau converging 



320 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

from the east ; and, about seventy miles below the crossing 
of the old Spanish trail from Los Angelos to Abiquie 
and Santa Fe, he would arrive at the spot where Green 
Eiver, roaring far down in the depths of its canon, is 
joined by the Bunkara, or Grand Eiver, rushing to meet it 
through a similar gorge. The two streams united form 
the Eio Colorado Grande. 

For 500 miles the united rivers, plunging from canon 
to canon, pursue a tortuous course far down in the bowels 
of the earth. For 300 miles the stream traverses the 
Grand Canon, a chasm of profound depth, which it has 
worn through various strata of rock, showing the method 
and order of position, defining their relative thicknesses, 
and affording the most remarkable geological section in 
the world. The almost perpendicular cliffs vary in height 
from 1,000 yards to a mile ; and for many continuous 
leagues its awful depths have been estimated at over 
7,000 feet. It is the greatest canon or gorge existing, 
as far as we know, on the face of the globe. 

The country traversed by the Grand Canon consists 
of a series of plateaus descending in regular steps towards 
the sea. As the river has no cascades, and not many 
rapids of any great height, but falls uniformly with a 
steep but regular gradient, it follows, as a result of the 
peculiar formation of the country, that at the northern 
extremity of each canon the cliffs are comparatively 
low, and increase gradually in height until the river 
emerges at the southern end of the chasm from between 
most stupendous walls. What infinite ages must have 
been consumed while the current ground out its bed 
through these elevated plains ! It does not appear that 
by any convulsion of Nature these chasms were formed, 
for the stratification is conformable on opposite sides of 
the canon ; they must therefore have been slowly sawn 



THE GRAND CANON. 321 

out by the friction of water. I know of no exhibition in 
Nature that could give a man such an adequate idea of the 
slow but irresistible eroding powers of that element, or 
that could convey to his mind so accurate a notion of 
never-ceasing action persisting through an immensity of 
time, as can be acquired by the contemplation of these 
and other similarly great gorges, by which a river has 
levelled its bed through such a gigantic thickness of ma- 
terial as obstinate as most metamorphic rocks and granites. 

I suppose the Great Canon of the Colorado has been 
formed by a similar process, and in a manner resembhng 
that by which the Niagara Eiver is now creating a small 
canon between Lakes Erie and Ontario. If in former 
ages the Colorado flowed along the surface of the plains, 
what gigantic cataracts there must have been at the 
southern edge of each plateau ! 

All the Indian tribes with which we are acquainted 
have now been left behind, with the exception perhaps of a 
few representatives of the Pah Utes, who may occasionally 
wander down from the mountains. The borders of the 
Canon indeed can scarcely be said to be inhabited at all 
at present, though there are many indications that its 
safe recesses were at one time tenanted by a tolprably 
numerous and ingenious people. Who or what they 
were — these people who have utterly disappeared, but 
have left behind them, as memorials, their little dwellings 
and their irrigating ditches — whence they came, and 
what inducement could have forced them into a country 
so unsuitable to human life, it is hard to say ; but it has 
been surmised that they were the inhabitants and the 
descendants of the inhabitants of villages and pueblos 
further south, who fled long ago before the mail-clad 
warriors of Spain. 

About sixty miles below the junction of its two forks, 



S22 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

the Grand and the Green Elvers, the Colorado receives 
the turbulent waters of the San Juan, rushing tumul- 
tuously from the eastward through a caiion equalling in 
the immensity of its depths that of the main river. 
About this point the heights of the chasm walls are said to 
culminate, and the river is described as rushing madly 
between vertical chfFs so high that even at midday the 
light can scarcely penetrate the awful depths. At pre- 
sent there is no very accurate information to be ob- 
tained about this district, full reports of Major Powell's 
exploring expedition, which was undertaken in 1873 for 
the Smithsonian Institute, not having been published.^ 

On the San Juan, which rises in Southern Colorado, 
are said to be situated some of the richest silver lodes on 
the continent ; and the upper portions of its valley will 
probably before many years be settled up. Upon and 
near its banks are the villages and settlements of Pueblo 
Indians, apparently a different race to any at present 
existing on the continent. They dwell in towns, cultivate 
the land, and have a certain acquaintance with the manu- 
facturing art. Who are they ? Is it true that they are 
the representatives of the Aztecs, and that among them 
are lineal descendants of the proud, civilised, and 
luxurious race which succumbed to the valour of Spain ? 
It is hard to say, for they have been so little studied by 
men capable of solving such problems. It is told of them 
that from the balconies and flat summits of their houses 
they wait for the rising of the sun, and worship that 
luminary, and that they live in daily expectation of the 
coming of Montezuma. Certain it is, that in their estufos 
they constantly keep burning the sacred fire, and nourish 

^ Since writing the above, the reports alluded to have been prepared and 
published. According to Major Powell, the cliffs of the Canon attain, at the 
point of the greatest elevation, to the height of 6,300 feet. 



A FALLOW FIELD. 323 

and pay great reverence to a rattlesnake. They are alto- 
gether far more civilised in appearance, manners, and 
customs than the wild tribes who encompass them about, 
and are evidently sprung from a very different stock. 

There is an immense field for ethnological research in 
the New World. In New and Old Mexico, Arizona and 
Southern Utah, occur villages of Moquis and other civi- 
lised Pueblo Indians ; and the remains of a powerful and 
constructive race are numerous. Very common in Yucha- 
tan and many portions of Central America, frequent in 
Mexico and all the Gulf States, and occasionally to be 
found as far north as the neighbourhood of the Great 
Lakes, are the strange memorials and vestiges of that 
departed people generally known as ' Mound Builders.' 
It is a great field, and it lies almost fallow. 

Some distance further on, the Colorado Grande 
receives, also from the south-east, the waters of the 
Colorado Chiquito, rising in the Zuni Mountains and the 
great plateau of the Sierra Madre. ' Could we ascend its 
rapid current we should find ourselves among pueblos 
of the Moquis and other similar tribes of Indians, organised 
communities dwelling in towns and villages, that stand 
like oases in the wilderness, over which roam wild 
Apaches and Navajos, savages crafty and warlike — 
western Ishmaelites, whose hands are against every man, 
and against whom every man's hand is raised in turn. It 
is of these Indians and the country infested by them that 
a ' hardy adventurer ' said, in reply to some inquiries, 
that Arizona was not a bad sort of country, and that it 
contained a right smart chance for prospecting, but that 
the Indians were awful mean, especially the Apaches, who 
troubled him very much, because they filled him so full 
of bullet-holes he could not hold his victuals. These 
Apaches are more dreaded by the whites than perhaps 



324 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

any other tribe on the continent. They have kept up a 
constant guerilla warfare with the settlers, and up to the 
present have not only succeeded in holding their own, 
but have actually turned back the tide of immigration 
from their country. They have depopulated whole 
districts in Mexico, and have completely paralysed the 
energies and stayed the progress of the frontier provinces 
of New Spain. From their unknown fastnesses in the 
Mimbres Mountains, and in the many sierras and Cordil- 
leras that traverse the desolate plains which constitute the 
greater part of their country, these marauders sally 
forth to harry the unhappy settlers of El Paso, Chihuahua, 
Sonora, and Sinoloa ; or, armed with the guns and clothed 
in the garments captured and stripped from the bodies 
of slaughtered Mexican lancers and dragoons, lie in 
wait for the sturdier but less numerous immigrants and 
prospectors of the Anglo-American race, who have been 
induced by tales of the vast riches in gold and silver 
hidden in these mountains to risk their lives in the 
pursuit of wealth. What fearful stories are told of these 
border forays — stories of frontier villages burned and 
wrecked ; of towns, situated so far in the interior that they 
were deemed secure, surprised, pillaged, and destroyed ; 
of quiet peaceful haciendas^ at eve beautiful in the 
luxuriant natural foliage of a sub- tropical land and in 
the rich exuberance of cultivated crops, at morn reduced 
to a smoking pile of charred rafters and crumbling adobe 
walls ; of wives and daughters torn from husbands' or 
fathers' arms to grace the lodges of cruel savages ; of ex- 
peditions organised in pursuit ; of surprise and recapture ; 
of the finding of lost ones after years of bitter separation ; — 
stories varying in detail, but all of them with the same 
colouring of blood, all of them sounding the same under- 
tone of battle, murder, and sudden death ! 



ULTIMA TIIULE. 325 

Yet these plains, than which no portion of the Great 
Sahara can now be more inhospitable, plains which sii])- 
port nothing whatever in the shape of vegetation except 
the huge ungainly cactus, at one time or other were 
certainly inhabited by a numerous and prosperous race, 
for you may ride through leagues and leagues of country 
strewn with the remnants of their pottery, and see evi- 
dences of man's work in deserts where now there is not 
food enough to support a grasshopper. 

At last, after a passage of 500 miles deeply trenched 
in the surface of the earth, the Colorado once more 
bursts forth into the light of day ; and shortly after being 
joined by the Eio Virgin, a river rising in the Wahsatch 
range, it issues from its long imprisonment in the moun- 
tains and pursues a tolerably even course towards the sea, 
flowing nearly due south. Near the junction is situated 
the Mormon settlement of Callville. Below this point it 
passes through the country of various divisions of the 
Apache tribes, until sixty miles from its mouth it is joined 
by a great river, the Eio Gila, flowing from the Cordilleras 
to the east. Here, in a land scorched and burnt by the 
fierce un tempered rays of a tropical sun which, radiating 
from the glowing surface of the desert, renders the heat 
well-nigh insupportable, is situated the most remote post 
of the United States, Fort Yuma. It is of this post that 
the story is narrated of a soldier, wlio, after leaving it for 
another but apparently not a better world, reappeared at 
midnight a few days subsequently to one of his comrades, 
and begged him for goodness sake to give him his 
blanket and overcoat, because in comparison with 
Southern Arizona he found his present habitation un- 
bearably cold. 

Sixty miles below this the river mingles with the 
warm salt waters of the Cahfornian GuU'. 



326 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

The general cliaracter of tlie country drained by the 
Colorado is that of a great table-land, composed of a 
series of extensive mesas or plateaus rising from the sea 
towards ' the north and east in ascending steps, overtop- 
ping each other by a height of several thousand feet. 
The shape of this table-land is a sort of irregular triangle, 
the apex lying about the intersection of the 38th parallel 
and the 110th meridian, and the base being upon the sea, 
or rather upon the sea-coast range. The eastern side 
forms the divide between the Eio Grande del Norte and 
the Colorado. This watershed follows in places the crests 
of the Sierra Madre, and of the many other sierra off- 
shoots and spurs of the main range, but during the 
major portion of its length pirrsues a devious course 
along an imperceptible ridge in the Sierra Madre plateau. 
Its principal tributaries, the Gila, Bill Wilham's Fork, and 
the San Juan, flow from the east. The Eio Virgin, though 
entering it from the right hand, yet flows from the north, 
and it receives no confluent of any size from the west 
except the Mohave. From its south-western angle ex- 
tends a very peculiar feature in American geography. 
A long depression sunk about 70 feet below sea- 
level, comprising some 30,000 square miles, stretches 
from the San Bernardino Mountains to the 38th parallel, 
a distance of about 250 miles in length. This oblong 
basin is a perfect desert, and is commonly and not inaptly 
called the ' Valley of Death.' 

Very little indeed is known of Arizona and parts of 
New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. Constant hostility on 
the part of the Indians has frustrated all efibrts at success- 
ful colonisation. Though the greater portion of Arizona, as 
far as our knowledge of it extends, is parched and barren 
in the extreme, yet it undoubtedly must contain fertile 
land, and that on a large scale. No human beings, not 



GOLD FEVER. 327 

even Apaches and Navajos — those Western Bedouins — 
could exist in it if the usual surface of their country 
was of a character similar to that portion of it with which 
the whites are acquainted. Far in the recesses of the 
mountains are the homes of these wild horsemen ; and in 
those secluded valleys must be hidden parks and pasture 
lands in plenty. There, too, in the imagination of many 
a hardy prospector, are valleys strewn with balls and 
lumps of native silver, and hill-sides where the pre- 
cious metal crops out of the surface. Legends of stately 
cities where Incas still reign, where the sacred fire has 
never been extinguished, where the ordinary utensils of 
the people are of solid gold and silver, float out from 
this land of misty rumour and vague tradition, and fire 
the brains of reckless men. Many a poor fellow has met 
a cruel and violent death from the hands of savages, or 
has perished in slow, sohtary misery, of thirst and starva- 
tion, wandering through these trackless wastes in searcli 
of the fulfilment of his dreams. It is a country a great 
portion of which can never be settled up, for by constant 
irrigation only could it be cultivated ; and who is goin^^ 
to expend labour and money there, when to the south, in 
the highlands of Mexico, is a fertile land, a garden country 
situated within the influence of tropical rains, and while 
to the north and east are the valleys, parks, and plains 
of New Mexico and Colorado freely watered by perennial 
streams ? 

The best description that I am acquainted with of 
this part of the United States is to be found in ' New 
Tracks in North America,' by Dr. Bell ; in the pages of 
which interesting work will be found a most grapliic 
account of the passage of the Grand Caiion of the Colo- 
rado by a man of the name of White, who, most mira- 
culously escaping all dangers and overcoming almost 



328 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

incredible difficulties, succeeded in navigating the river 
on a raft from above the two forks to Callville. 

Let us turn to streams that will lead us through very 
different scenes and chmates. 

Numerous little creeks and rills combine to form Snake 
Eiver, and it is difficult to s.ay where its head- waters should 
really be placed ; but in any case we shall not have to look 
far from the sources of the river that occupied our atten- 
tion last. In some maps the sources of Snake Eiver are 
indicated as existing about twenty miles south of the south 
end of Yellowstone Lake ; but I fancy that those streams 
are joined by other branches having their springs further 
from the mouth of the main river, and contributing to 
it a stronger body of water. Old trappers and hunters 
used to talk of ' Two-water Lake,' a sheet of w^ater so 
called because from that mutual spring two rivers ran 
— the one to the Atlantic, and the other to the Pacific 
Ocean ; and, though not literally true, yet their state- 
ment turns out to be very nearly correct. The Yellow- 
stone Eiver, after a course of 1,300 miles, falls into the 
Missouri, and through that channel finds the Gulf. It 
flows from out the lake of the same name ; and though 
it cannot be said actually to rise there, for there is a river 
flow^ing into the lake also that heads some distance to the 
south, yet the Yellowstone Lake may not inaptly be de- 
scribed as the source of a river running into the eastern 
seas. On the south-western side of the Yellowstone 
Lake, about five or six miles from its shore, lies a little 
sheet of water called Hearts Lake; from which flow^s 
a strong stream, which is certainly one of the most im- 
portant branches of Snake Eiver, and is probably its 
principal source. Hearts Lake is fed by a small creek, 
which rises in a promontory jutting out some distance 
into the waters of Yellowstone Lake. Thus within the 



ERRATIC SXAKE RIVER! 329 

encircling arms of that lovely sheet of water is con- 
tained the fountain whence bursts into hfe the southern 
fork of the mighty Columbia Eiver. The sources of the 
Snake and the Yellowstone overlap and interlock, and 
the old uncredited legend of Two-water Lake turns out 
after all to be almost literally true. 

The stream to which I ask my readers now to turn 
their attention is called indiscriminately Snake Eiver, 
Shoshone Eiver, and the southern branch or Lewis Fork of 
the Columbia. I respect it for having so many names. 
Every river ought to be voluminously baptised for the 
convenience of those who wish to write about it. It ob- 
viates such a lot of painful repetition. The Snake is a 
river of uncertain temperament and undecided mind. It 
is incapable apparently of striking out and maintaining 
an independent course of its own, but goes wandering 
aimlessly about, feebly trjdng to find a way out of the 
deserts tliat encompass it during the early part of its career. 

Eirst it flows south, receiving many accessions from 
the neighbourhood of the Yellowstone Lake and the 
north-western slopes of Wind Eiver Mountains ; then, 
at the earnest solicitation of several tributaries rising in or 
about Lewis and Shoshone Lakes, it turns suddenly to the 
north and, having met and received their cun-ents, bends 
again to the southward, making a bold curve round fi'om 
south to west for about 180 miles. Then it flows nearly 
due north for 200 miles or so, its course being almost 
conterminous with the boundary of Idaho and Oregon, 
until it receives its principal confluent, the Salmon Eiver ; 
and after a western course of 80 miles it discharges into 
tlie Columbia. Soon after leaving Wyoming, the land of 
its birth — a land sparkling with streams and shining 
lakes, swathed in solemn folds of forest, or bedecked 
and rendered gladsome with flowery vales and grassy 



330 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

prairies — it enters upon a district of clay, sand, and 
alkali, prickly pear, artemisia, and sage-brush, such as I 
have many times previously attempted to describe. The 
valley of its drainage has an average width of 70 or 
80 miles, and the desert lies principally on its northern or 
right bank. It rises in Wyoming, and traverses the 
entire breadth and almost the whole length of Idaho, and, 
together with the Columbia, forms the boundary of 
Washington and Oregon territories. 

About the centre of its great southern curve is Fort 
Hall, a small military establishment situated in the 
reservation of the Shoshone and Bannack Indians, and 
some 60 miles west of that post is the principal feature 
of the river, the great Shoshone Falls. 

Lewis Fork is a river that depends very materially 
upon snow melting for its supplies, and consequently it 
varies very much in volume, being in spring and early 
summer nearly equal to the Columbia, but in winter 
dwindling to a comparatively small stream. But this 
epithet of small is comparative only, and is not really 
applicable, for it is at all seasons a large river, being over 
200 yards broad just above the principal fall. Like all 
other rivers on the continent that flow over a series of 
mesas or table-lands, it has worn its way gradually back 
from each precipice, and formed a tolerably level bed by 
sawing out for itself a deep gorge. Above the fall the 
canon is between 600 and 700 feet in depth, the upper 
portion of the sides being composed ot steep clay 
bluffs and buttress-like intrusions of basalt, while the 
lower half is of grey porphyritic trachyte. Above the 
brow of the fall the course of the river is broken by 
several small islands and large fragments of volcanic 
rock, among which its waters rush and rend their way in 
numerous shoots and rapids. The transverse trachyte 



THE QUE AT SHOSHONE FALLS 331 

dyke that forms the cascade curves up stream, like the 
great Horseshoe Fall at Niagara. Over this ledge the 
river plunges in one vast solid mass, striking full upon 
the surface of the water about 190 feet below. There 
are no rocks beneath to break and dash to pieces the 
descending column, which drops vertically into a mist- 
enshrouded cauldron of seething, surging foam ; and 
though the face of the ridge is broken into rough jutting 
ledges and shelves, yet their presence is indicated only by 
occasional lateral jets of foam, the mass of water being so 
heavy that it falls in an almost solid, shining, uninterrupted 
wall. About four miles above the chief fall is another 
cascade. Here the river just before its leap expands con- 
siderably, and is divided into two channels by a low island 
that reaches to the very brow of the fall. On the north 
side of the island the current springs boldly over a pro- 
jecting cliff, and falls a distance of 150 feet, striking the 
green surface of the pool beneath. On the other side 
the ledge has given way ; and the current plunges madly, 
foaming down a steep and broken slope covered with 
fractured fragments of the dyke. 

The formations being in many respects very similar in 
both instances, these falls must somewhat resemble those 
situated on the Yellowstone and in Tower Creek. Both 
are to a great extent indebted for the strange wildness of 
their scenery and for the savage desolation that so gloomily ' 
envelopes them and that impresses the visitor so very 
powerfully, to the peculiar structural effects produced by 
the rounded water- wrought masses of trachyte, the long 
lines and square buttresses of columnar basalt, the angular 
fragments of other volcanic material, and the weather- 
worn eroded masses of indurated clay, of which their sur- 
roundings are chiefly composed. The Shoshone canon 
is wanting entirely in the gorgeous colovu'ing which 



332 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

distinguishes that of the Yellowstone, and the falls and 
the scenery surrounding them are endowed with no par- 
ticular form of loveliness or grace. But this lack of 
beauty may perhaps be partially made up for by the 
peculiar quality of desolation that pervades them, and 
which they possess m a preeminent degree. Very few 
men have visited these falls, but all who have done so 
agree in thinking that the perfectly level, utterly mono- 
tonous plain, the dingy, neutral-coloured grey greens of 
sage-brush, and the browns of sunburnt clay — tints 
so sad that not even the fierce light of Midsummer's sun 
blazing in a sky of cloudless blue can strike out the 
smallest particle of bright cheerful colour — combined 
with the long gloomy endless sides of the canon, and the 
forbidding blackness of the volcanic rocks that encircle 
tlie falls, make altogether a scene most sava<?e and strano^e 
in the extreme. After passing the falls, the Snake Eiver 
flows towards the north, and traverses tlie country of the 
Pen d'Oreilles and Coeur d'Alenes. 

At their junction the two forks of the Columbia are 
in early summer nearly equal to each other in volume, 
but the northern branch, or Columbia proper, taken from 
year's end to year's end, is by far the more important river 
of the two. Its current maintains a more consistent level, 
being fed by the numerous reservoirs through which it 
passes, such as the upper and lower Columbia Lakes and 
Lakes Pen d'Oreille and Coeur d'Alene. With it we 
have nothing to do. It is noteworthy principally as form- 
ing part of a natural highway to the extreme north. Its 
course is very tortuous. For a long distance it flows 
nearly north, striking the eastern flanks of the Selkirk 
Mountains ; and then, bursting through that chain and 
turning sharp round, it pursues a direction nearly parallel 
with its former channel, running between the Selkirk and 



HAIL COLUMBIA! 333 

the main or snowy range of the Eocky Mountains. Not 
far from where it turns suddenly to the south, but on the 
other side of the chain, are clustered the sources of the 
Athabaska Eiver. The pass is not a difficult one, I 
believe, though it is overshadowed by one of the loftiest 
peaks on the continent. Mount Brown, which attains 
an altitude of 16,000 feet. The distance between the 
Columbia and Athabaska is not great, and the waters of 
the latter river, after joining the Mackenzie, flow mingled 
with that mighty current into the Arctic Ocean. It is a 
long path though, that leads by this route from sea to 
sea ; and a weaiy way it is to travel ; for from its mouth 
to where it breaks through the Selkirk Mountains close 
to Athabaska Pass, the Columbia has a course of 1,500 
miles ; and from the head of the Athabaska to the mouth 
of the Mackenzie, descending Slave Eiver and traversing 
Athabaska and Slave Lakes, is over 2,000 miles more. 

Shortly below the junction the Columbia is a magni- 
ficent river of from one to two and a half miles 
broad. For several hundreds of miles it flows through 
upland sparsely-timbered plains ; but, as it nears the 
sea, the shores of its fine estuary are densely clothed 
with all manner of valuable hard-wood trees, such as 
various species of oak and ash. Alders, poplars, and beech 
also are mingled with them, and help to relieve the 
sombre monotony inseparable from forests of unmixed 
coniferous trees, while some of the pines attain gigantic 
proportions, being second only to the ' Big Trees ' of 
California. The navigation of the river by vessels of any 
burden is interrupted 170 miles from the sea by the 
' Dalles,' or narrows, a series of low rapids over which the 
river tumbles, falling seventy feet in ten miles. These 
I'apids are, I believe, passable by boats at high water. 
The banks of the lower nver are inhabited bv Cliinnoocks 



334 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

and other tribes, who live entirely on fish, and hunt 
but little, though they pay some attention to trapping and 
collecting the furs which the country produces in tolerable 
abundance. 

Oregon is naturally one of the richest portions of 
the United States. Its climate is good, being superior 
to that of California. It is admirably adapted for tillage, 
farming, and stock and sheep-raising ; it is covered with 
valuable timber ; and it is traversed by fine rivers, which 
are stocked with salmon and other fish. Settlements 
were established in it, and the trade with the natives 
secured by the Hudson's Bay Company, or (as I am not 
sure that the establishment of trading-posts did not take 
place prior to the amalgamation) I should perhaps be 
more correct in saying, by the adventurous pioneers of the 
North- West Fur Company. There are but four or f^\Q 
harbours on the Pacific coast, and Oregon possesses two 
of them. And yet, with all these advantages to be con- 
sidered. Great Britain did not think this fine territory 
worth the trouble and difficulty of keeping ; but gave 
it up almost without disputing her claim, and suffered 
herself to be nearly crowded out of the Pacific coast 
altogether. There is a legend current, which I do not 
exactly remember, but it is to the effect that the cession 
of Oregon was not strongly opposed at home because 
some plenipotentiary sent out to examine into the matter 
reported that it was a useless and disgusting country, for 
the salmon in the Columbia would not take a fly. I 
am afraid that this myth is too good to be true, and that 
the Colonial OflSce has no such vahd excuse to offer for 
its conduct. Certain it is that, actuated by whatever 
causes, we abandoned Oregon very easily, not to say 
supinely. And the worst of it all is, that under the 



'CUTENESS AND CRANBERRIES. 335 

fostering care of the United States the salmon have be- 
come so educated that they will now take a fly. 

Very slow to look after the advantage of herself and 
of her children has Great Britain been. We will not now 
discuss such grave questions as those affecting Maine and 
British Columbia, or springing from the consideration 
that the only road to Eed Eiver and the West runs of 
necessity along the boundary line for a long distance. But 
look at the nice little hitch up North which the line 
makes in Lake Superior, thereby sweeping in Isle Eoyal 
and all its copper. Observe, too, the absurd way in 
which — to suit the letter of a badly worded stipulation — 
the boundary goes up into the North-west angle of the 
Lake of the Woods. Perhaps it may be thought that a 
few acres in the North-west angle of the Lake of the 
Woods are not worth troubling about, and that our 
American cousins might as well have them as not ; but 
does any one imagine that they would go there for 
nothing ? Not a bit of it. That corner contains one of the 
best cranberry marshes in North America. 

And so for a full hour I sat upon the rocky summit 
of Mount Washburne, and, without moving, surveyed with 
my outward eyes the springs of these great rivers, and 
with my inward vision followed them in their long 
journeyings from their sources to the sea. 

It is pleasant thus to gaze out upon the world from 
some lofty standpoint ; to hold as it were in the hollow of 
one's hand the lives and destinies of great rivers ; to 
stretch out and to grasp threads which, unwinding their in- 
terminable length, lead one through so many countries and 
peoples and climates. It seems to expand the mind ; it 
conducts one by easy pathways down long lanes of thought 
penetrating far into the future of nations, and opens out 



336 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

broad vistas of contemplation through which ghmpses of 
what may be can dimly be discerned. The outlook from 
such a commanding point elevates the mind, and the soul 
is elated by the immensity of Nature. An appreciation of 
man's superiority over all other works of the Creator 
asserts itself, and the world seems to lie subject at one's 
feet. A feeling of wonder seizes one that man can be 
so weakly foolish as to suffer himself to be moved and 
vexed by the trivial crosses, the disappointments, the 
thwarted ambitions, and vain bickerings of life. Calm, 
soothing philosophy is tauglit, is forced upon one by every- 
thing that the eye sees and the ear hears, or that can be 
otherwise apprehended by the senses ; and peace per- 
meates one's whole being. 

Those strange thoughts and problems over which 
men uselessly shatter their brains intrude themselves un- 
bidden upon the mind, and a man asks himself involun- 
tarily how it is that in a scene like this, and surrounded 
by circumstances differing as much as can be from the 
outcome of all those products and results of civilisation 
tliat in our estimation constitute the best pan of life, he 
feels infinitely superior to his civilised self. Have we 
turned our back upon the light ? Is our progress a retro- 
gression, and not an advance? Are we in the darkness 
pursuing a shadow ? Or is the present conflict between 
Nature and man only a passing incident, a fleeting phase 
in the ample roll of the history of the world ? 

Long could I have pondered and wondered, but day 
was fast declining ; and from my musings I was roughly 
roused by Boteler, who reckoned that, unless I had con- 
cluded to take root there, I had better get up and look 
for camp. 

I jumped to my feet. It was indeed high time to be 
moving. The sun was getting very low, and the valleys 



SOLAR SPLEXDOURS. 337 

were already steeped in shade. To the east all was dark, 
but in the western heavens long flaming streaks of yellow 
were flashing across a lowering sky. The masses of black 
cloud were glowing red with an angry flush. The clear 
white light of a watery sun had changed into broad 
streaks of flaunting saffron. Across all the hemisphere 
opposed to it, the setting orb was shaking out the red 
and yellow folds of its banners, challenging the forces of 
the storm which was marshalling on the horizon its 
cloudy warriors resplendent in burnished gold. As I 
looked the sun sank into a mass of cumulus, and all was 
grey. 

So we turned to descend the mountain ; but, as we 
went, the sun, invisible to us, broke through some 
hidden rift in the cloud strata, and shone out bright and 
strong, splashirtg its horizontal rays full against the op- 
posite slope, and deluging the lower portions of the 
valley with a flood of intense cherry-coloured lurid light. 
The hills reddened as if beat upon by the full glare of a 
great furnace. It was a sight most glorious to see. The 
beauty of it held us and forced us to stop. The glow 
did not gradually ripen into fullness, but suddenly and in 
all its intensity struck upon a prominent ridge, lighting up 
the crags and cliffs, and even the rocks and stones, in all 
their details ; and then by degrees it extended and spread 
on either side over the foot-hills, bringing out the pro- 
jecting slopes and shoulders from deep gloom into clear 
light, and throwing back the valleys into blackest shade. 
Every rock and precipice seemed close at hand, and shone 
and glowed with such radiance that you could trace the very 
rents and crevices in the cliff- faces, and mark the pine- 
trees clinging to the sides ; while in comparison the deep 
recesses of the chasms and canons seemed to extend for 
miles back into dark shadow. 



338 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

As the sun sank so rose the hght, rushing upwards, 
surging over the hills in a wave of crimson most rarely 
beautiful to behold, and illuminating the great bulk of 
the range, while the peaks were still darkly rearing their 
sullen heads above the tide, and the valleys were all filled 
with grey vapour. At last the glare caught the mist, and 
in an instant transformed it from grey cloud into a gauzy 
half-transparent veil, light, airy, delicate exceedingly, in 
colour like the inner petals of the rose. Then, as the sun 
dropped, suddenly the hght flashed upon the summits ; 
the peaks leaped into life for a moment, and sank back 
into their clay-blue shrouds. 

In silence we descended the mountain, picking our 
"way through the gathering darkness, and leading our 
horses until we regained the trail, when we mounted and 
pushed on as rapidly as the jaded condition of the 
animals would permit. 

The first thing we saw in the gloom was an unusual- 
looking object, apparently nearly all head, standing erect 
upon its hind-legs, swaying about and making a strange 
grumbling noise. Bear, thought I ; but, on closer in- 
spection, it turned out to be Maxwell, stumbling along 
with his saddle on his head, very tired, almost drunk with 
fatigue, and in a very bad humour. His horse had given 
out in crossing the pass, and after bestowing a parting 
kick on the unfortunate cook, which vastly accelerated 
the progress of that worthy down the mountain and very 
nearly broke his leg, had utterly refused to proceed any 
further. The rider had consequently been compelled to 
abandon the horse to its fate, and to take up his saddle 
and walk home ignominiously, like a man coming in 
amid the jeers of the populace from a disastrous steeple- 
chase. We tried consolation, but in vain ; Maxwell was 
weeping for his horse, and would not be comforted. A 



TIRED TRAVELLERS. 



339 



little further, and we came upon another member of the 
party driving his jaded animal before him, propelling the 
beast with a constant stream of rapidly-uttered swear- 
words, delivered in a steady and sustained jet with much 
strength and precision. It was not strange that some- 
thing stirred at an appeal so moving ; the only wonder 
was that the man, being the lighter of the two, was not 
knocked backward by the force of his own language. 
Further on we overtook other individuals, some riding, 
some walking, all in bad humour and tired out. My 
horse lay down twice under me, and I also had to take it 
on foot. The ground was very rough, the night pitch 
dark, and altogether it was ' a hard road to travel.' We 
were all scattered about the country, out of sight and 
hearing of each other ; but at last the leading men got 
down by the river and lit a fire, and, attracted by the 
blaze and by whoops and whistles, we straggled in some- 
how, and made camp and supper. 




AN INDIAN VILLAGE. 



340 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 



CHAPTEE IX. 

THE TRACK BACK. 

The next day we rode to the Mammotli Hot Springs. 
Our outfit was getting exceedingly demoralised, and on 
this occasion also it was long after dark before we got into 
camp. We had counted upon getting plenty of game, 
deer or elk, all through the trip, and had arranged the 
commissariat accordingly. But we had grievously miscal- 
culated either our own skill or the resources of the country, 
for not an atom of fresh meat had we tasted for days. 
This sort of perpetual fast began to tell upon us. We 
.were a hungry crowd. Trout I had devoured till I was 
ashamed to look a fish in the face. When I saw them, 
their heads just sticking out of the weeds and their broad 
tails fanning the water, take a look at my grasshopper, 
and sidle across the stream, I fancied that I could discern 
a wink in their expressive eyes, a drawing down of the 
corner of their eloquent mouths ; and imagined I could 
hear them say : ' No, no, my boy : you have had your 
share ; things are getting pretty fishy ; you will be de- 
veloping fins yourself, if you go on in this sort of way/ 
A trout diet is all very well in warm weather, and taken 
with moderate exercise ; but when the mercury gets 
below freezing, and you have to work hard all day, com- 
mend me to venison and fat pork. So not only were the 
horses and mules tired and sulky, but the ' humans ' also 
were beojinninor to show sis^ns of dissatisfaction. 



J 




A KEEN DISAPFOINTMENT. 341 

Before leaving the Mammoth Hot Springs we had 
provisioned the party with five prong-horns killed on the 
trail we were to take to-day. Why not, said we, do the 
same again, or at any rate part of the same ? So Wynne, 
Boteler, and I formed ourselves into a committee of 
supply and started off ahead of the column, determined 
to get something to eat. 

We rode for some two or three hours over the rolling 
upland, and then espied some antelopes. Wary and wild 
as hawks, the villains saw us at the same moment, and 
soon put themselves out of our reach. A little further 
on we saw three more feeding on a hill-side about a mile 
off. I dismounted, stamped the geography of the country 
as well as I could on to my brain and, while the others 
sat down and waited, ran along under cover of a ridge 
to circumvent and get to leeward of the game. The 
ground was good for stalking, and I expected to get a nice 
shot ; but when I had got round under the brow on the 
other side of which I fancied the antelopes were feeding, 
and, after breathing a mild imprecation, had dragged 
myself to the top and craned my head over the ridge, the 
deuce a living thing was to be seen except Wynne and 
Boteler, on a mound ever so far off, making antics like a 
couple of mountebanks, indicating that the prong-horns 
had ' vamoosed' 

I felt much inclined to take a pot-shot at my gesticu- 
lating friends, but did not indulge my fancy, consoling 
myself with reflecting that perhaps the antelopes were 
bucks and not in good condition, and that there were 
plenty more of them about. Of course they said when 
I rejoined them that it was all my fault, and that I had 
made noise enough brushing through the dried rustling 
sunflowers to scare a dead antelope into blue fits. I did 
not believe a word of it. After that we rode all the 

A A 



842 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

morning without seeing a single solitary creature fit to 
eat, until in the afternoon we crossed the trail and got up 
on some bluffs almost overlooking the cascade on Gar- 
diner's Eiver. Here was a nice country, little open 
parks and glades, with pools of water in them, occurring 
frequently in the pine-woods ; and we had not gone far 
before Boteler, who was leading, jerked his pony on to his 
haunches and motioned me to get down. Over the ridge 
he had just caught a glimpse of an antelope. At the 
same moment a storm that had threatened all day burst, 
and choked and pelted us with such a driving deluge 
of hail, sleet, and rain as is only to be met with in these 
youthfully violent and unfinished countries. Wynne, 
who had lagged behind, got under a rock somewhere ; 
Boteler and I, who were on the open, put out for the 
nearest pine-tree and backed up against it. 

I have seen storms on the plains, when the hailstones 
were so large and descended from such a distance that a 
man exposed to them would be glad to whip his saddle off 
and protect his head with it. This storm was not quite 
so bad as all that, but it was severe enough ; and the hail- 
stones cut cruelly. We waited until the worst was over, 
and then, as we could not afford to waste time, started out 
to look for the antelope. We found him right enough ; 
an old buck he was, and lying — the cautious, crafty old 
sinner — on the top of a little knoll in the very centre of 
a small circular plain, of perhaps 1,000 yards in diameter. 
On one side, and about 200 or 300 yards from him, was 
a little outcropping fragment of slate, a few inches high 
and some five or six yards long. To crawl up behind 
that ledge and take a shot from it, appeared to be the 
only chance. So I told Boteler to make a long round 
and ensconce himself behind a clump of trees on the 
opposite side, so as to secure the off-chance of a running 
shot in case the antelope went that way, and I, with a 



SPOUT UNDER DIFFICULTIES. 343 

woeful glance at the cold soaking grass, proceeded to 
wriggle myself up to the stones. I don't like wrigghng 
like an eel in the wet grass, particularly when you have 
to go a long way prone upon the streaming face of 
mother earth, dragging yourself through shallow pools 
of standing water, and through tufts of tall, drenching 
weeds that flick the spray down your neck. Eain water 
is cold, beastly cold ; and, favoured by your peculiar 
attitude, it insinuates itself through interstices in your 
garments which would not otherwise be accessible, per- 
colating into all sorts of queer places, and making you 
quake and shiver. 

When I got up to the last shelter, there was the 
prong-buck ever so much further oflf than I expected, 
lying down, but by no means in a quiet frame of mind, 
for he was looking about him in all directions, evidently 
inspired with a notion that something was the matter. 
There was not so much as a stalk of sage-brush or a tuft 
of long grass between me and him ; so I had to take my 
shot from where I was. Of course I could not discover 
a crack or cranny through which I could catch sight of 
him without giving him a chance of seeing me ; and of 
course I could not, to save my scalp, find a nice, con- 
venient place to lie. When I had slowly, by hair-breadths 
at a time, dragged myself to the top and had at last 
settled myself comfortably, and gently pushed my rifle 
forward, and was taking a long breath preparatory to 
firing, a great raindrop must needs splash right on top 
of the foresight, causing me to wink violently. So I 
came down and, levelling my gun the second time, hard- 
ened my heart, and was just feeling a strong pressure on 
the trigger and wondering nervously why the thing did 
not go off, when flick ! a hailstone, under the especial 
patronage of Satan, strikes me on the nose. I felt that 

AA 2 



344 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

I should miss him, and I began to hate that buck. 
However, I came down again, wriggled an inch or two 
further up the hill, crossed my feet, filled my lungs, set 
my teeth, and got a nice sight upon him. How ridicu- 
lously small he seemed, and how absurdly the foresight 
would keep wobbling about ! At last I got it pretty 
steady, and pulled. As I did so he caught sight of my 
expressive countenance, and jumped as only an antelope 
can jump, and my bullet splashed up the mud a foot or two 
behind and under him. Do you suppose he ran towards 
Boteler ? Not a bit of it, but just the other way ; and in 
half a dozen jumps was out of sight. 

It was blowing so hard, and there was such a noise 
of storm, that there was no danger of the shot having 
disturbed anything, and so, as the country looked very 
gamey, we walked on on foot, leading the horses, and 
presently came upon a little band containing six antelopes. 
We were by this time near the summit of a long sloping 
mountain. The ground fell away rapidly on either side, 
and in a long but narrow glade the antelopes were lying. 
While we were peering at them, two does — nasty inquisi- 
tive females — got up, walked forward a few steps and 
stared too. We remained still as statues, and after a while 
they appeared satisfied and began to crop the grass. We 
then left our ponies, and signing to Wynne, who just then 
hove in sight, that there was something ahead, and that he 
was to catch the horses, hastened up under cover of some 
brush. By the time we reached the tree nearest to them 
we found the does had all got up and had fed to some dis- 
tance, but a splendid buck with a very large pair of horns 
was still lying down. At him I fired, and nailed him. 
He gave one spring straight into the air from his bed, fell 
back into the same spot, kicked once or twice convul- 
sively, and lay still. I fired the second barrel at a doe 



A LIVELY BUCK. 345 

and struck her, for she ' pecked ' almost on to her head, 
but she recovered and went on. Out we rushed : ' Never 
mind the dead one,' shouts Boteler, his face all aglow ; 
' let's get the other ; she's twice as good, and can't go far. 
You take one side of that clump and I will take the 
other.' So off we set, best pace, bursting up the hill 
after the wounded doe. We followed her for half an 
hour, running our level best, and got each a long shot, 
but missed ; and, as she was evidently quite strong, we 
gave up the chase and walked back. 

We found Wynne driving up the ponies ; and as he 
appeared to have some little trouble with the poor beasts, 
rendered sulky and ill-tempered by the wet and cold, I 
said to Boteler, ' You go down and help him, and I will 
butcher the buck.' I had scarcely got the words ' but- 
cher the buck ' out of my mouth, when the darned thing, 
apparently not appreciating my intentions, came to life, 
bounded to his feet, sprang into the air, coming down all 
four feet together, and, with his legs widely extended, 
gave a phwit^ — a sort of half whistle, half snort of sur- 
prise, I suppose at his own resurrection, — stared a 
second, and made off. ' Shoot, Boteler,' I cried, ' shoot. 
In Heaven's name, man, can't you see the buck ? ' and I 
threw up my own rifle and missed him, of course. ' By 
George,' says Boteler, wheeling round, ' look at the 

; ' and he let go at him with the same result. Wynne 

yelled and dropped the lariats ; Boteler ejaculated terrible 
things ; and I also, I fear, made use of very cursory re- 
marks. But neither for swearing, shouting, nor shooting 
would he stop. He ran about fifty yards, fell on his 
head and rolled over and over, jumped up again, ran one 
hundred yards, pitched head over heels the second time, 
got up, and went down the hill as if he had never felt 
better in his Hfe. 



346 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

We followed of course, and wasted an hour in search- 
ing for him in vain. Never again will I pass a beast, how- 
ever dead he may appear to be, without cutting his throat 
by way of making sure. 

We were all thoroughly disgusted ; and as it was getting 
very late, and Wynne and I did not know anything of 
the country, we two took a direction that would cut the 
trail, while Boteler persevered and went over the other 
side of the mountain to try one more shot. 

By the time we had got down the hill-side and skirted 
round the margin of a little reedy lake, it was nearly 
dark, and we had just barely light enough to find the 
trail. We crossed it on the other side of the pond, and 
followed it as fast as we could ; but we had some difficulty 
in finding our way, and did not get in until about ten 
o'clock that night. The expedition was in a very sad 
plight. Another of the horses had given up, and Camp- 
bell and Maxwell had been obliged to walk all day. One 
or two of the mules had sore backs, and could carry only 
very light loads ; the others consequently were too 
heavily laden, and the column had made but very slow 
progress. We overtook them just before they made 
camp, and went on ahead. Maxwell was quite beat and 
exhausted, poor fellow. He was so done up that, in cross- 
ing the west fork of Gardiner's Eiver, he came mighty near 
being drowned. The water there is not deep, but it rushes 
violently over a bed strewn with round, smooth boulders. 
Maxwell, instead of waiting for a horse to be led back 
to him, thought he could ford it on foot. He tried, lost his 
balance, fell, and was swept some distance down the stream 
before he could get his footing again. Eventually he was 
fished out, half choked, by Campbell. Wynne and I found 
both men and beasts dismal and in bad humour ; but we 
kept up our spirits, and instilled imaginary warmth into our 



NOBODY AT HOME! 347 

wet and clammy limbs by thinking and talking of 
the great luxury we should presently enjoy in the shape 
of a hot bath at the Springs. How delicious it would 
be, we mutually speculated, to lie up to our chins for 
an hour in the warm, soft, invigorating water, calmly 
smoking the calumet of peace ! Thoughts of supper 
too at the hotel reconciled us a little to our present 
discomforts. 

We knocked at the door of the hotel, but no answer 
was returned. An ominous darkness enveloped the 
house ; the door was fastened ; we burst it in, but beat a 
hasty retreat from two or three skunks who appeared 
inclined to resent our intrusion. There was not a human 
being in the place ; and, when the inhabitants had left, 
they had taken with them every available article in the 
shape of food, drink, and utensils. We tried the other 
shanties, but with a similar result ; there was not a man, 
woman, or child left in the settlement. They had all 
gone ' up the caiion or down the valley.' Our disappoint- 
ment was acute, for we were in want of food, and the only 
thing in the slmpe of provision to be found was the fag 
end of a knuckle of ham. This we were afraid to touch, 
thinking it might have been used for poisoning rats. The 
river of course was full of trout, but at that time of night 
it was too late to go to it for supper. Wynne looked 
unutterable things. Slowly drawing from his pocket a 
newspaper cutting, and unfolding it, he exclaimed, ' Just 
read this and look around you. Is this abomination 
of desolation the luxurious summer resort mentioned 
by tliose unprincipled prophets in Helena? Can such 
a gigantic fraud have been perpetrated in Virginia ? 
Exists there an advertising medium in Bozeman so base as 
to prostitute its columns to such a vile purpose as the 
deception of the traveller ? Are these things really so ? Or 



848 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

is it only a horrid nightmare ? Can there be a newspaper 
so mean as to talk of coaches, horses, hotels, stores, and 
baths that exist not, and delude the unwary wayfarer 
with a piled-up heap of specious crammers ? According 
to this document I hold in my hand, the weary visitor 
will find a first-class hotel, a luxurious club-house, and 
several quiet, retired boarding-houses. The elegant 
bathing establishments are under the supervision of one 
of the most eminent physicians of the West. All the 
luxuries, in and out of season, are to be had in abundance, 
at moderate prices. In fact, the innocent individual who 
trusted to this document would have expected to find a 
sort of Saratoga in the wilds of Montana. Only contrast 
this ideal with the stern reality ! ' 

It certainly was rather a gloomy look-out. The 
Springs presented a very different appearance from the 
highly-coloured accounts in the advertisements. On our 
former visit there were two or three people in the place, 
and it was possible to get something to eat, for the 
hunters had brought in some elk ; but now there was not 
a solitary human being in the whole estabhshment. Where 
were the luxurious bath-houses, the commodious club- 
house, the restaurant, the lodging-houses, the eminent 
physician, and the civil and obhging guides, who were 
willing to convey travellers to the geysers and back again 
for a modest remuneration, or to show them herds of 
wapiti and bands of sheep, and do anything and every- 
thing to add to their comfort ? 

An owl, who might have been the ghost of the 
learned doctor, hooted dismally round the solitary 
shanty — I mean the elegant restaurant ; a skunk walked 
disdainfully and slowly, trusting to the prowess of his 
tail, out of the saloons of the hotel ; squirrels were the 
only visitors at the club-house. We had to camp as 



J REBELLIOUS BATH. 349 

best we could upon the bare, dirty floors, and go well 
nigh supperless to bed. 

However, Wynne and I got a candle-end and pro- 
ceeded to the bath-house, determined that we should 
not be done out of that luxury at any rate, and that if 
we were hungry we would at least be clean. We care- 
fully stuck up our Httle light, and stripped ourselves ; and 
Wynne, who was the more expeditious of the two, stepped 
into the water. With a yell of agony he instantly drew 
out his foot, red and scalded. The water was nearly boil- 
ing hot. There we sat for about half an hour, two shivering 
wretches, waiting in vain expectation that the water would 
cool, for we had plugged up the conduit that conducted it 
to the baths. But it did not cool a bit. It is the most 
provoking, obstinate, and peculiar water, so far as its 
powers of developing and maintaining caloric are con- 
cerned. It does not appear so intensely warm when you 
first insinuate your feet into it, but it seems to get hot all 
at once, and then it becomes hotter and hotter. You 
may cautiously immerse yourself up to the knees without 
suffering much pain ; but scarcely are both feet down 
before your legs begin to tingle, and before you can get 
out again you are about parboiled, and expect to see the 
skin peel off your shins. So after waiting a long time 
in vain, we were obliged to get into our clothes again ; 
and, rather colder and dirtier than before, we walked 
back to the shanty to try and forget our disappointment 
in sleep. 

I did not get much of that, for about three in the 
morning I went up the mountain with Boteler to see if 
we could not get a deer. There is a regular healoch 
there through which the black-tail pass in great numbers 
at certain times in the year, when moving to and from 
their winter pasturage, and we expected to be lucky 



350 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

enough to come across some, as it was the right time of 
year, and the weather had been stormy for the last few 
days ; but, though we walked hard and fast for about four 
or five hours, we did not see anything, not even fresh 
tracks. It was evident that the herds had not yet come 
down. 

On our return we found breakfast ready, consisting 
of some fresh trout, and the last of our tea and flour ; 
and after a somewhat scanty meal Wynne and I left, 
intending to ride into Boteler's the same day. Kingsley 
had started some two or three hours before, as his horse 
was very jaded, and he wished to have plenty of time 
before him. 

We got along very pleasantly, leading our ponies up 
and down the steep places and saving them all in our 
power. We had not gone many miles, however, before we 
spied Kingsley 's horse standing with his head down and his 
legs very far apart, propping himself up as if he was afraid 
of falling, a miserable and dejected-looking object. Close 
at hand, his rider was peacefully reclining in a sage- 
brush, philosophically smoking. His horse, he said, could 
not go a step further, and he would wait where he was 
until the outfit came up. In order to lighten his load he 
had left his gun behind, and he said that in consequence 
scores of antelope had suffered him to approach quite 
close to them. Eeflecting that his fate was not unlikely 
to overtake us also, we gave him some tobacco and our 
blessings, and proceeded on our way. We saw a great 
many antelope that day ; but as we were now close to 
the end of our journey, and our horses moreover 
were so beat that it would have been unwise to give 
them any extra work to do, and as the day was scarcely 
long enough for the journey we had to make, we did 
not take the trouble to try and kill anything. 



BRISK DAME BOTELER. 351 

We therefore made the best of our way along our old 
trail, galloping cheerily over the level, and walking and 
driving our horses before us over all the steep places ; keep- 
ing a look-out for Indians, but not troubling our heads 
about game. Just about sunset we passed the corral, and 
saw that most marvellous old dame, Mrs. Boteler — marvel- 
lous for the sprightliness with which she bears the burden 
of her many years — busily engaged milking her cows ; a 
sight that was highly refreshing and suggestive of luxurious 
feeding. A few minutes afterwards we pulled up at the 
ranche and were heartily greeted by Phil Boteler, who 
warmly bidding us to get right off, and sit right down, and 
not trouble ourselves about the stock, for he would 
manage all that, put chairs for us, called in his mother, 
and went out to drive our tired horses down to pasture. 
What a refreshing wash we had ! And how we did 
enjoy our supper of fresh eggs, chicken, cream, butter 
and cheese, and plenty of Japan tea ! Honestly tired 
we were, and heartily glad to have got to the end of our 
troubles. 

We had brought to a safe termination a most enjoyable 
expedition, the pleasant recollections of which will never 
fade from my memory ; but we had also experienced a, 
somewhat rough time. Our horses and mules were 
scarcely up to the work ; we had been greatly hurried ; 
we were unfortunate as regards weather, and still more 
unlucky in not getting half enough game to keep us pro- 
perly supplied. So the pleasures of the trip were mixed 
up with just enough hardship to make the return to 
civilisation exceedingly pleasant. 

We lay at Boteler's for three days, full up to our eyes 
of hominy, milk, and other products of the dairy and the 
farm. We also managed to get hold of some whisky, and 
not very bad whisky either. The evening of our arrival 



352 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

Wynne and I noticed a keg, but, fearing that our honesty 
might not prove equal to the temptation which a conver- 
sation on the subject would have held out, we avoided the 
cask and the topic, and asked no questions about it. We 
thought that if we resisted the Devil he would ' flee from 
us.' We did resist that keg manfully, but it did not 
budge an inch. The next day Jack came in and hovered 
round it like a hungry fish about a hook, getting bolder 
all the time. Finally he tapped it to see if it was full, and 
found it was. It gurgled pleasantly when lie shook it, 
and that gurgle finished Jack. He asked Boteler ' what it 
was anyhow ? ' and Boteler replied it was some of the best 
whisky that could be got in Bozeman. Upon which 
Jack looked unutterable things and walked away, speedily 
returning to renew the interesting conversation. It 
turned out that the keg was on its way to the man who 
used to live at the Hot Springs. ' But,' we all cried in a 
breath, ' there is nobody at the Springs at all.' ' Well,' 
said Boteler, ' I don't know anything about that. It was 
left here for me to send on by the first chance. I don't 
suppose there will be any chance now till next spring ; 
and, if you fellows feel like taking some and leaving ten 
dollars a gallon for it, I don't know that there will be any 
great harm done ; but you must take it on your own 
responsibility.' Jack was quite willing to take it on his 
own responsibility ; and it was not long before there was 
an auger-hole in the head of that cask. 

Although we had made a decidedly successful trip, 
having accomplished all that we had resolved upon, and 
having seen all or nearly all we had intended to see, 
yet in the hunting line we had done very little. It is true 
that we had devoted but little time to the noble pastime, 
but we were rather disappointed at the results. With the 
exception of one grizzly and three wapiti, we had nothing 



HURLY-BURLY. 353 

to show as evidence of our adventures. I felt that we 
ought to have a good mountain-sheep head to take down 
with us ; and I determined, as the weather was still open, 
to move up into the mountain to a locality where ' Ovis 
montana ' was reported to be tolerably numerous. 

Accordingly, when we had sufficiently recruited our- 
selves and our horses, I moved the whole party up a creek 
running from the westward into the Yellowstone. 

The trail was easy at first, and we got along very 
pleasantly, winding our devious way along the foot-hills ; 
but presently the creek canoned, and we were compelled 
to keep down close to the water's edge. The rich soil 
bordering the stream was thickly bristling with a dense 
growth of cotton-wood and aspen, their branches matted 
and interwoven with various vines. The signs of many a 
winter's storm were apparent in the leaning trees arrested 
in their fall by their stronger brethren, and the ground 
was strewn and littered with prostrate trunks. Through 
this mass, more like a gigantic cobweb than anything else, 
we had to thrust ourselves ; and such a falling of beasts, 
swearing of men, upsetting of packs, and smashing of 
branches, I have seldom seen. 

Hot and breathless, our eyes full of dust and our shirts 
of bits of dry stick which had showered themselves down 
our backs, we at last burst through the gorge, and 
emerging into the fresh air pursued a course along the 
hills, until, a little before dark, we came to a beautiful 
camping-ground, nicely sheltered and affording plenty of 
wood and grass. But, alas ! no water was to be found, 
except that which was descending most bountifully and 
disagreeably from heaven ; and we were compelled to 
descend to the creek bottom. 

The next day four of us started early to explore the 
tops. The ascent was very steep and fatiguing, but by no 



354 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

means difficult, though there were of course a few bad 
places. In one of these Campbell and I got stuck. We 
could get up, using hands, feet, and eyelids, but could not 
carry our guns with us. Fortunately the bad step was not 
very long, and by utilising all available compass-cords, 
whistle-strings, belts, and handkerchiefs, we were enabled 
to make a rope long enough to reach from top to bottom. 
So I climbed up first, and having reached a secure 
place, much to my own satisfaction, let down our im- 
provised rope and hauled up the two rifles one by one, 
after which Campbell clambered up. Careful climbing 
thenceforth enabled us to overcome all difficulties ; and, 
the crowning ridge once reached, all trouble was at an 
end. 

The mountains here do not consist of isolated peaks, 
but are for the most part connected by a narrow ridge 
composed of slate very much tilted, the strata being 
occasionally quite perpendicular, sometimes inclined to 
one side and sometimes to the other. Along this con- 
necting crest you can walk for miles, bending and 
turning in all directions, for the range does not seem 
to possess any method or order, but to consist of just 
a jumbled up mass of mountains. In this range the 
principal valleys run east and west, towards the Madison 
in the first case, and the Yellowstone in the other. The 
summits rise now and then to elevations perhaps 200 or 
300 feet above the average level of the ridge, but they can 
generally be surmounted without much difficulty. Occa- 
sionally you meet with a peak of rugged, massive rock, 
which bars the passage and necessitates a detour. Hav- 
ing once ascended the chain, you can thus, without much 
further climbing, get a fine view of the valleys and slopes. 
In this way two men, one taking one side and his com- 
panion watching the other, can with good glasses survey a 



AN ANCIENT MEMORIAL. 355 

great deal of ground, and well rewarded for their trouble 
they probably will be both in game and scenery. 

The general configuration of the country is, as before 
stated, a great jumble of mountains, bounded by the 
Madison on the one side, and by the Yellowstone on the 
other. 

Flowing into these rivers are numerous creeks and 
streams, which in their turn are fed by smaller creeks and 
branches, entering them generally at right angles to their 
course, and draining through most picturesque valleys 
and gorges the snows which never melt entirely from the 
summits. 

Ascending from the foot-hills along the boundary 
ridge of one of these valleys, we wound our way, first 
through dense woods, and, after chmbing over or 
skirting round steep chfFs, along more level ground, — 
the ridge becoming narrower and more knife-like, and the 
vegetation more stunted and scanty as we proceeded, until 
we emerged from the region of trees altogether, and, 
after traversing in single file a tract of bare slate, stood 
upon what was evidently one of the highest points of the 
range. By a shght difficulty in getting sufficient breath, 
by the deliciously cool, clear, exhilarating air, we rightly 
judged we had climbed to a considerable elevation above 
the sea, and we gladly sat down to rest and look about us. 

All around peaks and crags, bare, savage, and storm- 
tormented, siu-ged up in constantly recurring waves. The 
scene was utterly desolate and wild, yet man had trodden 
these riven rocks before ; for at my feet lay a chipped 
obsidian spear-head or scraper, dropped perhaps ages ago 
by some wandering savage hunting the goats and sheep 
scarcely wilder than himself. The ground immediately 
about us was covered with slate debris ciu-iously encrusted 
with a substance resembling a coating of dirty frozen snow. 



366 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

Tlie head of the valley may be described as a fell. 
Large patches of snow lie upon it, hard and frozen on the 
north side, but melting fast and distributing quantities of 
mud and small stones where exposed to the powerful sun. 
A httle further down, the whole of one slope of the valley 
is covered with loose stones, constantly falling, making a 
very nasty and dangerous ground to walk upon, for if you 
with incautious steps set a portion of it in motion, the whole 
hill-side starts and moves in a mass. A little below tim- 
ber line, which in these latitudes is about 11,000 feet 
above sea-level, the upper part of the valley forms a sort 
of basin ; and in the bottom of this depression nestle three 
calm unruffled little lakes, sheltered by stunted pine-trees, 
and surrounded with a carpeting of short sweet pasture. 
They communicate with one another, and finally lip over 
in a tiny rill, which, first trickling through grass and 
Alpine flowers, and gathering strength and courage on its 
course, goes foaming and leaping down precipices, rushing 
noisily through the cool shadows of the forest, until it 
mingles its icy waters with the creek on which we are 
encamped below. 

As the valley spreads out, the mountains on either 
side throw back their great shoulders and rear their 
hoary heads towards the sky, flinging out the cloudy 
tresses from their summits capped with snow. Then an 
interval of fell occurs, and then comes the timber 
struggling to ascend. And so the valley expands and the 
mountain masses break up, throwing out great naked 
promontories, wooded spurs and huge castellated cliffs, 
till they merge into the blue undulations of the foot-hills, 
which look in the shimmering autumn haze like a great, 
heaving, restless sea of pines. 

Turn right round ; walk a few steps, and you will see 
another valley and lake beneath you, and a stream flow- 



SCAMPERING AWAY. 857 

ing in the opposite direction. We are on the 'divide' 
between the Yellowstone and the Missouri, and the pano- 
rama unrolled on either side cannot easily be surpassed 
on the continent of North America. I wish I could con- 
vey to my readers a just impression of a scene of such 
excellent beauty that I never can forget it. It is only 
necessary for me to close my eyes to see it in all its grace- 
ful details of wood, water, valley, fell, and cliff. 

But as I sat soaking myself in sunshine, inhaling the 
joyous air, and revelling in the scenery, with a sudden 
start I become aware of something moving on the 
opposite face. 

Out with the glass ! Yes ! there are one, two, three, 
by George ! sixteen sheep, quietly feeding. ' Any big 
ones among them ? ' says Boteler. I screw the glass in a 
trifle, and steady my elbows well on the ground, for I am 
lying at full length ventre a terre., and drawing a deep 
breath reply, ' Ne'er a big horn ; all young rams or ewes. 
See how they are all skylarking, butting at one another, 
and jumping about.' ' No use going after them anyhow,' 
drawls Jack ; ' but I can see two other bands ; ' and so in 
truth they were, a small party of three sheep crossing the 
stream far below, and twelve more moving slowly along 
close to the lake beneath us. But there did not appear 
to be a good head among them all. 

As we looked at the herd by the lake, suddenly they 
all spread out like a lot of minnows when you drop a 
pebble in the midst of the shoal, and darted up the moun- 
tain falling into single file, stopping occasionally to look 
back, and then bounding up with inconceivable rapidity. 
Why, in a few minutes they were up the mountain and 
over the ridge ; — a good day's work for a miserable man 
who would follow them. What on earth could have scared 

B B 



858 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

them ? There was nothing in view and nothing came in • 
sight. 

'Well, boys,' says Jack, 'there's no use in fooling 
around here all day. Let's go ahead and try and strike 
something.' So, shaking ourselves together, we started 
again. Jack and Boteler on one slope, Campbell and I on 
the other, carefully examining the ground on either side 
for sign. 

We had not gone far before I threw up my head, like 
a hound, sniffed violently, and swore I could smell sheep 
quite plain. Campbell smiled incredulously. Because he 
could not feel the smell, he would not believe that I could 
be endowed with a keener nose. But I was right, for a 
few yards further on we came upon the beds the sheep 
had slept in the night past, found where they had been 
feeding a short time before, and discovered the quite 
fresh track of four big rams. 

Fatigue was forgotten ; every sense seemed quickened ; 
and I became aware that I had a heart beating rather 
violently, as Campbell whispered, ' Tread light ; they must 
be close by somewhere, lying down likely.' So we cau- 
tiously crossed the ridge, stooping very low to inform our 
companions that they were close to game. While we 
were running along as fast as our bent position would 
admit, crack ! went a rifle ever so far in front of us, 
followed by a rattling of stones ; and presently appears 
Jack, trying to look as if nothing had happened. He had 
walked right into the herd and fired, killing nothing, but 
wounding one. Campbell and I were silent, but our 
thoughts were powerful. 

We had not proceeded more than half a mile when, 
looking back, I saw Boteler apparently stark, staring 
mad. He was gingerly, but with much gesticulation of 
his legs, running over the rocks as if they were red-hot, 



A POINTED POSITION. 369 

his eyes staring, his face working with excitement, his 
mouth open as if he were yeUing, but no sound coming 
therefrom, and his hands going Hke the arms of an old 
semaphore. When he got close he shouted in a whisper, 
' Bighorns I bighorns ! twelve or fourteen of them ! quite 
close ! this way ! come on ! ' Grabbing him by the shirt- 
sleeve, I said, ' For Heaven's sake don't excite yourself ; 
let me stalk this lot myself ; you and Jack keep back well 
behind us, and don't on any account show until I have 
fired.' So Campbell and I started. How well I remember 
my sensations ! How my heart beat ! One's circulation 
is rather queer at those high altitudes ; and Boteler had 
said there were very large rams in the herd ; and good 
specimens of mountain sheep are rare. What infernal 
walking it was to be sure, all loose slates and stones, over 
which a cat could not have passed without displacing 
some and making a noise ! 

Cautiously but swiftly, as if treading on eggs, we 
stepped, well covered by the ridge, till we thought we 
must be nearly opposite the band ; and then, crawling to 
the top, I motioned Campbell to look over. 

With eyes contracted, nostrils dilated, and lip quiver- 
ing, inch by inch he raised his head. Down it dropped 
again ; and, without a word, he slid back feet first. I 
followed his example ; and, when well under cover again 
he whispered, ' Two hundred yards further on, feeding 
up ; we must be quick and catch them before they cross 
the ridge ; go ahead you now.' So away I went, till 
with a pull at my coat-tail Campbell signed to me to 
crawl up. 

Mercy I How sharp the stones were just there ! How 
they did cut one's knees and elbows ; and what a nice thing 
a round, compact young prickly-pear — something like 
a pincushion stuck full of barbed needles, points out — 

S B 2 



360 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

is to place the palm of one's hand on with the whole 
weight of one's body resting on it ! 

As I got near the top I began to think, ' Goodness ! 
what a noise my heart is making ; enough to scare 
all the sheep in the country ! Lord ! how hot I am ! — 
d — mn it, there's a great drop of perspiration run into 
my eye ! I wonder whether the sheep are to the right 
or left of me. Had I better crawl up and try and 
get a lying shot, or rise up suddenly at the top and 
pitch both barrels into them? What an infernal steep 
place this is to get up ! There, now, you great fool, 
you've clicked your gun-barrel against that stone, and 
it's all over. Hark at that idiot behind. If he hasn't 
sent a stone clattering down the face ! Confound these 
slate flakes, how they do cut ! ' At last I could level 
my eyes over the ridge. Cautiously I took off my 
hat and peered all round. JSTot a single sohtary beast 
was there in sight, but I could hear them grazing and 
coughing, so close were they. I did not know what to 
do. I looked back. Campbell was lying flat, occasionally 
squinting at me with an agonised expression of counte- 
nance, and then dropping his face between his hands as 
though muttering an incantation to some private Highland 
family devil. A little further back were Jack and Boteler 
squatting, guns ready, eyes staring, both looking as if 
saying, 'Why the blazes don't you shoot, or do some- 
thing ? * 

The eyes of Europe and America were upon me, and 
I felt aghast and uncertain how to act. If I stayed 
where I was, I should of course get a shot at the leading 
sheep ; but probably it would be a ewe, and she would be 
bound to see me. Could I only get to that dwarf juniper- 
bush some thirty yards down the slope before they came 
in view, I should be all right. 



THE STRAIN OF SUSPENSE. 361 

I determined to chance it, and, Campbell being beck- 
oned to, we rapidly wriggled, after the manner of serpents, 
towards the bush. Scarcely had we crept into the friendly 
cover when a ewe stepped into full view, and, feeding 
quietly, passed so close I could have almost touched her 
with my gun. Fortunately the wind blew strong, and 
she did not notice us. Another and another followed, 
till eight or nine sheep were in sight, and not a good 
head among them. How slowly they did pass ! Some- 
times one would look right at us. I could see straight 
into its eyes, and it appeared impossible but that the 
beast would distinguish us also. How motionless we lay I 
A photographer would have been charmed with us. We 
scarcely dared to breathe or wink. The suspense was 
awful. I felt hot and cold alternately all over, and began 
to get the buck-ague to such an unbearabk extent that 
I felt as if I must let go at something and before long, 
when at last out stepped a great ragged-skinned old ram. 
I need scarcely say that, whereas all the others had 
presented fair broadside shots, this one most unceremo- 
niously offered me his tail, and would not turn round. 

At last I caught sight of his shoulder through a little 
opening in the branches, and let him have it. With one 
bound he disappeared. ' Missed, by Jove ! ' I heard from 
behind me ; and then such a row as there was ! I jumped 
up and fired the second barrel at something, I don't 
know what ; but I noticed a sheep stumble on to his head, 
get up again and plunge down the hill. Campbell let 
drive into the brown of them ; Jack and Boteler too ran 
up and fired a volley ; and then the latter rushed down 
the slope after the wounded ram, which by this time was 
going very short. I also pursued, and should have had a 
fair shot at him, for on entering a belt of timber he 
stopped and stood looking at us for some seconds ; but 



362 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

unfortunately Boteler was in an exact line with the beast ; 
and, though I swore that if he did not lie down I would 
shoot through him, he did not pay the slightest attention 
to me, but continued running till he had got his gun 
loaded, when he fired and missed the ram. 

Poor Boteler came back very disconsolate, for he sup- 
posed we had got nothing ; but I knew better, and 
reassured him ; for I felt certain that I could not have 
missed, and sure enough we found the sheep as dead 
as Julius Caesar, lying doubled up in a bush within 
twenty yards of the cover from which I had fired. 

When they got to the bottom of the gulch four of the 
rams bunched up together, and stood five or six hundred 
yards off gazing at us. We all sat down and had some 
very pretty practice, for they let us fire in all ?i\e or six 
shots before they made off. When the bullets struck the 
ground they would all jump straight up into the air, run 
a few yards, and gather up together again. It is hard to 
judge distance across a valley ; and as they moved at each 
shot we could not get the range, and killed nothing ; and 
they, after satisfying themselves that it was about time 
to quit, broke into a steady run, crossed the valley and 
plain, and went away up another mountain and over it 
without ever stopping to look back. 

Thereupon Jack volunteered to fetch one of the 
ponies up as near the scene of action as possible, and 
said he would afterwards look for the sheep he had 
wounded in the morning. Campbell and Boteler took a 
diverging ridge and followed it in hopes of finding an- 
other herd, and I continued along the crest on which we 
had found our game ; but, seeing no fresh sign, I soon 
came back, and, like a dissatisfied idiot, must needs go 
down the gulch to look for the wounded sheep. 

It was the steepest place I ever climbed without going 



WHO'D HAVE THOUGHT IT f 363 

on all-fours. I went down in about ten minutes, jumping 
in the loose gravel and then sliding ; but it took me a 
good hour and a half to get up again. I had no chance 
to trail my sheep, for the ground was completely covered 
with tracks, and I could not hit off the right one ; but 
with a dog I might have got him, and he was a big one. 
I was so thirsty when I got back to the top that I was 
obhged to make a little fire, melt some snow, and have 
a small tot of cold grog ; after which refreshment I 
turned to, with Boteler and Campbell, who had joined 
me, skinned the sheep, cut off his head, and carried 
the hide and skull till we found the pony ; when we 
packed them on his unwilling back and, tired but con- 
tented, made the best of our way to camp. 

After much consultation round the camp-fire that 
night and the consumption of a great deal of tobacco, for 
opinions were different on the subject, we decided to move 
camp ; and the next day, having retraced our steps some 
five or six miles, we struck up a long heavily-timbered 
spur of the range, and, having ascended as far as was 
practicable for the animals, camped in a most picturesque 
spot and drove the beasts down to pasture below. The 
country looked a very hunter's paradise, and is reported 
to swarm w^ith black-tail deer when they are moving to 
or from their winter quarters in the spring or fall. We 
ought to have found them. I cannot say I expected to 
find them, for I have invariably observed on these occa- 
sions that there is something wrong with the weather or 
the year. It is a very early season, or the latest that 
ever was known ; there never was so much snow on the 
range, or who ever supposed that the mountains would 
not be white by this time ? The oldest inhabitant will be 
dog-goned if he ever remembered such weather. Bill will 
turn to Hank, and he with many oaths will corroborate 



364 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

his statements thai this time last year every bush held 
a buck. Jim will, with profuse expectoration, give it as 
his opinion that the present is the very worst time in the 
year, and that if you were only there in the spring, when 
the deer begin to move westward, you would be tired of 
shooting at them. ' Elk did you say ? ' he will answer to 
your inquiries as to wapiti ; ' you bet your life there's elk. 
Did not Joe What's-his-name and I sit right down on that 
bad-worded peak there and shoot seven big bulls without 
ever moving ? Bears is it ? Lord ! you should be here in 
the spring when they first come out hungry ! Why, you 
couldn't walk three steps then without meeting one. Now 
you may look till h — 11 freezes over and never see a bear.' 
And so on ; it is the same story everywhere, in all quarters 
of the globe, and among all people. What says the Eme- 
rald Islander in reply to the indignant query of some dis- 
appointed Saxon who has hired a shooting in the wilds 
of Ballybog, and who, weary and disgusted, has just 
emerged out of fifty acres of morass through which he 
has been plunging up to the chin, and which have not 
afforded him a single shot ? ' Well, my good man,' says 
he to Paddy leaning complacently on his spade, ' can you 
tell me if there are ever any snipe in this infernal bog ? ' 
' Is it snipe? Sure your honour's joking. It does be 
full up with snipe ; the sun do be darkened with them ; 
but it is a little early yet in the season.' ' Oh, indeed, too 
early is it ? Any ducks here ? ' ' Ducks ! Is it ducks ? 
Begorra, the place do be crawling with them if there was 
the least taste in life of frost ; maybe it's ducks you see ; 
'tis wishing them out of it you'd be for the noise of them.' 
' Dear me ! And do you get any barometers here ? ' ' Faix, 
then, we do get an odd one at all times ; but, if your 
honour would come quietly — very quietly — in the dark 
of the moon, the place would be alive with them.' 



SQUIRREL PHILOSOPHY. 365 

And have we ever gone barbel-fishing, or roach- 
fishing, or any other kind of fishing, without hearing that 
in that very pitch only last Tuesday two gentlemen caught 
so many tons of fish ; our stock, however, consisting at 
the end of the day of some flat beer, a great many crawling 
gentles and other abominable beasts, and a few, a very few, 
small fishes ? And so it was in this case. The deer had 
not come down. In vain we wandered over the foot- 
hills ; softly with moccasined feet trod the mazes of the 
forest, or rode over the swelling surface of the rolling 
prairie. But what a pleasant wandering it was ! Some- 
times through parks dotted with giant hemlocks, rearing 
their ruddy, rugged stems to heaven, and filling the air 
with fragrance and with the low cadence of their song as 
the wind murmured melodies to the branches, and the 
boughs whispered back to the breeze. I could sit for 
hours under one of those splendid trees, gazing up into 
its sturdy branches, wondering at the colony of life among 
them — the insects, the birds, and squirrels, and watching 
the chitmunks hard at work throwing down fir-cones and 
burying the seeds. I love a squirrel, he is such a jolly 
little beast, and so active withal. Always busy, always 
happy, and full of larks, he manages to instil into the 
every-day routine of his life any amount of fun and good- 
humour. If men would only follow his example, and 
go through their business with his cheerfulness, and take 
the same comical, humorous view of hfe that he does, the 
world would move with about half the moral friction that 
now stops its progress and wears out our lives. 

Sometimes we passedjhrough glades of aspen shiver- 
ing in the autumn breeze ; across little sparkling streams, 
on whose white sandy beaches merrily danced the sha- 
dows of the broad flickering poplar-leaves, and through 
whose glancing waters darted numerous red-spotted trout ; 



Sm THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

through dark aisles of the forest, chill, mysterious, 
solemn, filled with a silence which seems to awe and 
subdue every living thing save and except the irrepres- 
sible squirrel, who, impudently chattering with rage at 
your intrusion, waves defiance with erected tail ; then out 
into a prairie, under the full blaze of the sun, cheerful 
and bright, instinct with insect life, full of chirpings, 
hummings, hoppings, and sometimes, if truth be told, of 
bitings also. 

In vain we climbed the mountains, scaled giddy pre- 
cipices, penetrated the range to the head waters of Trail 
Creek, and other streams flowing to the Madison Eiver. 
Not a thing did we see except a few small sheep, two of 
which Jack shot, two or three antelopes as wild as hawks, 
and the dead carcass of a bear. 

So one afternoon, coming in tired and disgusted, we 
suddenly determined to go back to Boteler's, and, hastily 
packing up, started for the ranch. Jack was the only 
one of the party absent, but leaving a square drink of 
whisky suspended in a flask from a tree with an intima- 
tion of where we had gone, we abandoned him to his fate. 
It was a pitch dark night ; but Jack, guided by the 
instinct of an old prairie man, had no difliculty in finding 
his way, and joined us long before we reached Boteler's, 
bearing on his saddle a quarter of lamb. 

We remained a day at the ranch in order to clean up, 
and arrange for the transport of our trophies ; of which 
we were reasonably proud, for all the natives agreed that 
the heads of two out of the three wapiti, and the ram's head, 
were the finest specimens that they had seen for a long 
time. 

The taye, bighorn, or mountain sheep (Caprovis 
canadensis) is a splendid beast. There is nothing what- 
ever sheeplike about him, except in the shape and 



OVINE PARTICULARS. 367 

appearance of the horns and face. His form resembles 
that of a large black-tail buck, but is much thicker, 
sturdier, and more majestic. The hair is like that of a 
deer, only longer and thicker in texture ; it has, when the 
coat is in good condition, a slightly bluish tint, and the 
fibres are very closely set together. The connection be- 
tween the wild sheep and our domestic varieties is chiefly 
shown in the appearance and quality of the flesh, which 
looks and tastes like most excellent mutton. Without 
exception it is the best meat that the mountains afford. 
The bighorn is very white behind, and seems as if he had 
been sitting in the snow. Sometimes the whole skin is 
white ; and this does not depend upon the time of year, 
for I once killed an almost white ewe in Colorado in the 
month of June. The slot is squarer than that of a deer 
of equal size, and not nearly so pointed at the toes. 
Both sexes have horns, those of a full-grown ewe being 
about the same size as those of a two year-old ram. 
Sheep generally run in bands of from fiYe or six to twenty 
or thirty, with the exception of very old rams, who are 
solitary in their habits, and usually betake themselves en- 
tirely alone to some secluded ridge backed by the highest 
peaks of the range, to which they can retreat in case of 
danger. The rutting season varies, of course, somewhat 
according to the locality and climate ; it occurs about the 
same time as that of the deer. They drop their young 
about April. In Colorado, where I have chiefly observed 
their habits, the ewes separate from the rams in the 
winter or early spring, and go down among the lower 
foot-hills almost to the plains ; while the males at that 
time betake themselves to the high mountains, where they 
remain in spite of wind, frost and snow. Very severe 
weather will, however, sometimes drive them down ; and 
I have met with a large band of rams in thick timber in 



368 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

Estes Park during a mid- winter's storm. About June 
and July you will meet with the ewes returning to their 
mountain homes, accompanied by their lambs. Very 
pretty little creatures the young ones are. I once caught 
one, about two months old, in Estes Park after a severe 
chase, and succeeded in carrying it to the ranch, where I 
had hoped to rear and tame it ; but the poor httle thing 
died in spite of all my care. They are not difficult to 
domesticate, I believe. A ram of about seven years old 
carries a fine head. To see such an one bounding hun- 
dreds of feet above you, along the verge of a precipitous 
cliff, or standing on some jutting crag, with his head 
thrown back a little, as gracefully and easily poised upon 
his massive shoulders as though those huge horns weighed 
no more than a feather, and with his feet gathered up 
ready for a spring, is a sight worth going a long journey 
to see. He is a noble animal, worthy of the grand 
scenery of the mountain ranges among whose peaks and 
precipices he loves to dwell. 

The bighorn is closely allied to the argali or Asiatic 
wild sheep {Caprovis argali). In fact, as far as general 
appearance goes, they are indistinguishable one from the 
other ; but I suppose minute differences, sufficient to 
constitute a variety, do exist. The moufflon, or Euro- 
pean variety, is a much smaller animal than the American 
or Asiatic sheep. The only noticeable difference between 
the argali and taye lies in point of size. I do not think 
that the latter ever attains to as large proportions as the 
former. The British Museum possesses a gigantic speci- 
men of the argali ; the horns of which are beautifully 
shaped, and measure 48 inches in length, following 
the curve, and are 19 inches in circumference at 
the burr. I do not believe there exists a specimen of 
the bighorn equal to that. The best American head that 



HORN MEASUREMENTS. 369 

I have seen belonged to the ram whose death I have 
attempted to describe. I took the dimensions at Boteler's 
ranch, and found them to be as follows : — ^Weight of the 
head thoroughly cleaned, cut off at the first joint of the 
neck, but with the skin of the neck left on as far almost 
as the shoulder, 40 lbs. ; circumference of horns, measur- 
ing just above the hair and following the hair round, 21 
inches. I did not at that time note the length of the horns. 

But either the measuring tape at Boteler's must 
have been very much in fault, or, what is more probable, 
the horns have shrunk a good deal ; for, on taking the 
dimensions now, I find that, following the curve, the right 
horn measures 38 inches long, and the left horn 36 ; and 
they are 17^ and 17 inches respectively in circum- 
ference, following the hair and measuring just above 
it. The weight cannot now be obtained, as the head is 
affixed to a wooden shield. The finest specimen in the 
British Museum is almost identical with the last-named in 
size ; the horns measuring 17 inches round the burr, and 
36 inches in length along the curve. 

The largest example mentioned in Lord Southesk's 
book, ' Saskatchewan,' measured 42 inches in length. 

It will be seen that none of these American sheep are 
nearly equal, in point of size, to the Asiatic specimen 
first mentioned. 

Unlike those of deer, the horns of mountain sheep 
are not shed annually ; but they certainly are occasionally 
cast, whether as the result of accident or disease I know 
not ; for I have picked them up lying quite alone, and 
have searched in vain for any skull to which they could 
have belonged. They appear to be in their prime when 
the animal is from six to eight years old. I doubt if they 
increase in girth much after that ; but, even if they do 
grow larger, their symmetry is sure to be spoiled, for the 



S70 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

horns of very old rams become scaly, and invariably are 
much damaged and broken about the points by fighting 
and falling among rocks. 

There are legends to the effect that the bighorn does 
cast himself incontinently down precipices of vast height, 
and, falling on his horns, bounds up again into the air 
like an India-rubber ball, ahghting unhurt upon his 
feet, much to the surprise of the baffled hunter ; who, 
however, if he believes in such tales, might confidently 
cast himself down after the sheep, imitating its manoeuvres 
and alighting also on his head, for wood is hard and 
elastic, and he would likewise bound up and down to the 
detriment, perhaps, of the rocks, but not of his own skull. 

It is marvellous what stories are created and told 
about game. I have frequently heard it gravely asserted 
by people who, I am sure, were incapable of telling a 
deliberate falsehood, and who believed in the fact them- 
selves, that it was not uncommon to find a wapiti head of 
such dimensions that, when the antlers were placed up- 
right, their tips just resting on the ground, a full-sized 
man could walk between them without stooping his head 
or touching the skull. This has been told me scores and 
scores of times, as a sort of rough general way of esti- 
mating the size of a wapiti stag ; and I might have ended 
by believing and repeating the tale myself, if I had not 
actual measurements to oppose its adoption. There are 
no very good specimens of wapiti heads in the British 
Museum ; nothing so large as some that I have in my 
own possession ; I therefore took the measurement of one 
of my Montana stags having very long horns, though in 
other respects it is not particularly large. The dimen- 
sions are as follows : — Circumference of horn at the burr, 
12 inches ; circumference of beam above brow-antler, 1\ ; 
length of tip to beam along the curve, 56 inches ; distance 



COMPARATIVE DETAILS. 371 

between the outer tips, 45 inches ; ditto middle tips, 34 
inches ; ditto inner tips, 29 inches ; length of brow-antler 
nearest the skull, 12 inches ; ditto furthest from the skull, 
15 inches ; distance between tips of brow- antlers nearest 
the skull, 3 inches ; ditto furthest from skull, 24 inches ; 
number of points, 14. 

From Mr. Edwin Ward, of Wigmore Street,^ I obtained 
the following measurements of the largest wapiti head in 
his establishment : — Circumference of horn at the burr, 
1 1 inches ; circumference of beam above brow-antler, 
8 inches ; length from tip to beam along the curve, 
54 inches ; distance between the outer tips, 49^ inches ; 
ditto middle tips, 41 .| inches; ditto inner tips, 31^ 
inches ; length of brow-antler nearest the skull, 16| 
inches ; ditto furthest from skull, 17 inches ; distance 
between tips of brow-antlers nearest the skull, 16 inches ; 
ditto furthest from skull, 26 inches ; points, 14. 

These heads are, as will be seen by comparing their 
measurements, almost identical in size ; and either of 
them may be safely taken as a fair specimen of a large 
wapiti stag. I selected my stag for trying the experiment 
with, because his horns were somewhat the longer of the 
two, and I found that, when placed upright, the tips just 
resting on the ground, a line dropped from the skull at 
the centre of the burr to the ground measured 42 inches 
in length. JSTow, three feet six inches would be the stature 
of a very short man ; and thirty inches, added to the 
length of the perpendicular line, would necessitate a pro- 
digious increase in the size and weight of the antlers, out 
of proportion to the endowments of any species of deer 
now existing. 

The next day saw us started, — this time, thank good- 

^ I learned that a much larger head had passed through his hands, of 
which no record was kept. 



372 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

ness, with our plunder in a waggon — to Trail Creek, bound 
on a wild moose chase. 

Now the moose is ' the most subtle of all the beasts of 
the field ' — the serpent has no right to claim that proud 
distinction ; and to hunt him, save under most favourable 
circumstances, is labour lost. Circumstances were adverse 
to us. We had plenty of snow when we did not want it. 
Now we would have given a good deal for the fall of a 
few inches, and there appeared no chance whatever of it. 
The nights were getting very cold, but every day the sun 
rose bright and warm in a cloudless sky. Still as it 
appeared certain that there were some moose in the 
country, we thought it a pity not to give Fortune an oppor- 
tunity of doing us a good turn. The result of the expe- 
dition was that Campbell and I covered ourselves with 
ridicule as with a blanket. 

It fell out in this wise. Be it known, in the first place, 
that the hunting-ground was a very large depression 
extending in numerous valleys far back into the moun- 
tains, drained by Trail Creek, Bozeman Creek, and other 
smaller tributary rills. On these streams the beavers had 
been for ages busy, damming the waters back and form- 
ing swamps, in which willows, the favourite food of the 
moose, luxuriantly grow. The general surface is covered 
with an almost impenetrable crop of dry, brittle, diminu- 
tive pines. 

On the very first day, Boteler, Campbell and I went 
out together and found plenty of old sign, and the tracks 
of two bulls, not more than a week old (I refer to the age of 
the tracks, not of the bulls). - The second day, Boteler being 
anxious to ' play a lone hand,' Campbell and I went out to- 
gether and very soon struck the fresh trail of a young bull 
descending the creek towards Bozeman, right down 
wind. We followed it some distance, and then taking 



GUILELESS FISH. 873 

difTerent sides of the valley searched carefully to see if he 
had passed up again. We crossed no return trail, but 
discovered a pretty little lake or pond called Surprise 
Lake. I had been told that it was unfathomable ! In 
one sense it is so, for nowhere could you get a fathom 
deep ; the greatest depth being, I should say, two feet, 
and the average twelve inches. The water is perfectly 
clear, and the bottom is soft mud. It is inhabited by 
many trout, who swim about like young sharks with their 
back fins out, there being scarcely water enough to cover 
them. I caught a couple of dozen for supper. The mode 
of capture is somewhat peculiar. 

To secure these unsophisticated fish, it is not at all 
necessary to be especially prepared for that species of 
sport. A string, a hook, and a knife constitute a com- 
plete fishing outfit. You cut a long pole, attach a cord 
to the end, tie a hook on to the cord, and on the hook 
fix a fragment of your luncheon if — fat pork so much 
the better. This bait you then hurl out into the still water 
with a great and unavoidable splash, thereby causing 
much commotion among the fish, who fly for refuge under 
the fallen trees and stumps that fringe the pond. Pre- 
sently they emerge, and all those that espy the bait swim 
at it like atoms attracted to a magnet, at first slowly, and 
then with ever-increasing swiftness. The smartest trout 
gets the pork, and you heave him out of water. If you 
are lucky, he falls on the ground ; if you are not, he 
lodges and immediately tangles himself up in the top of 
a pine-tree, which you must climb or cut down — the latter 
process is easiest — to get your trout. Having then mer- 
cifully killed your fish, you extract his eyes, which prove 
a tempting morsel to his fellow-creatures. 

We caught as many trout as we wanted, and, know-, 
ing it was useless following the moose down wind, climbed 
c c 



374 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

a riclge overlooking Bozeraaii's Canon, lay down in an 
open space, and went to sleep. A little before sundown 
we awoke to the consciousness that some beast was mak- 
ing a strange and diabolical noise far down the canon. 
' What like beast is that P ' drawls Campbell. ' Don't 
know,* said I ; ' must be moose, I suppose, but I never 
heard one.' 

At intervals of ten minutes the strange cry — a sort 
of cross between a roar, shriek, and whistle, as if a wild 
beast, an owl, a bull, and a locomotive were singing 
quartet — would swell up against the wind, gradually 
approaching. 

We waited as long as we dared, but saw nothing ; and 
not relishing the idea of camping out on a cold night 
without blankets, and with nothing but trout without salt 
for supper, we started for camp, where, having detailed our 
experiences, we were told by the authorities that certainly 
we had heard a bull moose calling. 

Thus the next morning found us two, full of hope and 
porridge, making the best of our way to Surprise Lake, 
where we separated, taking opposite sides of the valley. 

For three or four hours I diligently quartered the 
ground, but not a fresh track did I see. The day was 
very still, hot for the time of year, and dull, with a sensa- 
tion of coming thunder in the air ; and I began to feel 
quite drowsy, and oppressed with an uncomfortable feel- 
ing of solitude, when I was startled into ftiU wakefulness 
by the same unearthly noise proceeding as before from 
the lower end of the canon. Toned down and softened 
by distance, the cry came wailing up the valley, making 
my flesh creep — it sounded so mournful and yet so savage. 
Three times in perhaps half an hour I heard the cry, still 
at a long distance, but evidently approaching me ; and this 
time down wind, for the breeze had changed. ' Bound to 



CAN IT BE MOOSE f 375 

get a shot this tmie,' thought I to myself ; and, selecting 
a nice convenient spot, I lay down and waited. 

Not a sound for a long time broke the oppressive still- 
ness of the air, but the dropping of an occasional fir-cone 
or the fluttering fall of a dead leaf ; and then a distant cry. 
Another long interval of silence ensued, broken by a crush- 
ing and tearing of something bulky through the brush ; 
and instead of a moose out bursts Campbell. Scared and 
breathless, he exclaims, 'What is it?' 'What's what?' 
inquired I. ' Why,' he gasped, ' I heard a most extraor- 
dinary yell ; it sounded like a man in distress calling for 
help.' ' You great idiot,' said I, ' there is a moose com- 
ing up the gulch calhng, if you haven't frightened him 
out of the country by running through the woods in that 
fashion. Listen ! ' And, as I spoke, our ears were assailed 
by the same unearthly yell, a good deal nearer to us. It 
did sound partially human, but still it certainly was not 
that of a man. Legends of forest devils and Jibbonaino- 
says flitted through my brain ; and Indians, for a moment, 
I thought of, for they can and do make noises unutter- 
ably hideous ; but there were no Indians in the country, 
and no sign of them. I glanced at Campbell, whose face 
looked quite white and anxious ; and CampbeU looked at 
me, and I daresay I presented the same bewildered appear- 
ance. Be that as it may, I am sure we each felt glad 
that the other was present, for there was something very 
uncanny, devilish, and altogether uncomfortable in this 
unknown yell ringing through the forest. 'There it is 
again ! ' we simultaneously exclaimed, as the same quaver- 
ing cry echoed through the woods, swelling into a roar 
and dying away in a shrill whistle or scream. This time 
it was answered a little above us. ' There can be no 
doubt,' said I ; ' I know it is not a wapiti, neither is it 
a mountain lion. It is not exactly hke what I imagined 



S76 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

the call of a bull moose to be, but there is no other beast 
in the woods that could make such a noise. Let us wait 
for another call.' Again came up the noise from the 
canon, answered as before. ' You are right ; it can be 
nothing else but moose,' whispers Campbell ; ' two bulls ; 
and the upper one is close to Surprise Lake. Come on ; 
let us get up to him. They will be thinking of each 
other, and if we have luck we may get a shot at both.' 
Accordingly, after taking off our coats, moccasins, and 
socks, we advanced, walking like Agag delicately, point- 
ing our naked toes like ballet-dancers, worming om^ way 
noiselessly through the trees without cracking a stick, 
rustling a leaf, or snapping a twig. 

Goodness ! How anxious I was ! I had killed all the 
principal beasts of the continent, except moose and car- 
riboo. The latter I anticipated no great difficulty in 
getting in Lower Canada ; but the moose is nearly ex- 
tinct, save in the far-away swamps of the Peace Eiver 
Valley ; and was I now to be so favoured by the gods as 
to witness a fight between two bulls, and kill one, per- 
haps even both, of them ? With stooped bodies, heads 
craned forward, scarcely venturing to draw breath through 
our dry parched lips, inch by inch we noiselessly advanced, 
treading softly on our bare feet, carefully putting aside 
every twig and branch, and using extra caution as we 
neared the lake ; presently we caught the glint of water 
through the trees. A pull at my shirt arrested me ; and 
Campbell, putting his mouth to my ear, whispered, ' I see 
the reflection of his antlers moving in the water.' Motion- 
less as statues we stood for a few seconds, then gently 
dropped on our knees, when I too saw the reflection of 
something pass across the surface, followed by a slight 
splash in the water and cracking in the bushes. ' Feediag 
on the water-lihes,' gurgles Campbell, shaking with sup- 



nVHY^ ITS BLUE." 377 

pressed excitement. I too felt quite ill, but bottled-up 
my feelings and said nothing, my attention being too much 
taken up by the peculiar colour I saw reflected in the lake. 
Craning my neck a little further forward, I perceived it 
distinctly. ' Why, Campbell ,' I said, ' it's blue ! Who ever 
heard of a blue moose P ' Another inch or two forward, 
and I turned my expressive eyes on Campbell, whose re- 
sponsive orbs spoke volumes of unutterable words. ' Durn 
the trout, they ain't biting worth a cent,' we heard ; and 
there, placidly unconscious, stood a free and independent 
citizen in a pair of blue military pants, fishing for trout 
with a young pine-tree ! He had come up from the saw- 
mill below to get a dish of fish. ' I think,' said I, ' we 
had better go back and put on our shoes and stockings ; 
this gentleman might wonder what we were doing with- 
out them.' As we turned, the same unearthly yell rolled 
up from the canon, answered by a horrid howl from our 
friend in blue, and followed by a muttered inquiry as to 
what the bad-worded fool meant by losing himself, and 
making such a bad-worded row in the bad-worded woods 
for. 

We did not hunt moose any more that day. 

We remained about a week on Trail Creek, and ex- 
plored the country thoroughly. Every day two of us 
took the valleys, and scratched our way through the matted 
pine- woods, or floundered about among the swamps ; and 
the other two went up the ridges and hunted the tops for 
sheep. But as none of us got a shot, or ever saw any- 
thing, vv^e got tired of it. The weather too was turning 
very stormy ; winter was evidently close at hand, and we 
therefore determined to give it up. A slight fall of snow 
we had been praying for, but it appeared likely now that 
we might get too much. Day by day the sun sank in 
heavier and wilder-looking banks. The weather was 



378 THE GREAT DIVIDE, 

exceedingly hot and oppressive, a condition of atmosphere 
that surely indicates the approach of a decided change ; 
and, as we had no mind to undertake a stage journey in 
deep snow, we bade adieu to hunting, broke camp, and 
went into Fort ElHs, where we were received with the 
greatest kindness by General Sweitzer and the officers of 
the garrison, whose hospitality we enjoyed for three days, 
while we were occupied in disposing of our stock and 
settling up matters in general. 

And now I fear lest the reader may be disappointed 
that no thrilling adventures befel our party ; and I feel that 
some apology is due for the fact that we emerged scatheless 
from a wilderness supposed to be full of dangers, and brist- 
ling with horrors, where the wanderer is exposed to wild 
beasts and savage men, and to various risks and chances 
by flood and field. But, so far as I am personally con- 
cerned, it is useless to pretend that anything ever does 
happen to me. I never have an adventure worth a cent ; 
nobody ever scalps me ; I don't get 'jumped' by high- 
waymen. It never occurs to a bear to hug me, and my 
very appearance inspires feehngs of dismay or disgust 
in the breast of the puma or mountain lion. I am not 
drowned or overwhelmed by sudden floods. I don't 
slide down precipices and catch by the seat of my 
breeches on a spike just as I am falling over a cliff 
40,000 feet high. I don't ride for my life, the whirling 
lasso of a wild Comanche just grazing my shoulder ; 
so I have no opportunity of describing my mettlesome 
steed, ' swift son of the desert and the simoom.' My dog 
has never caught me by the coat collar just as I was sink- 
ing for the last time ; so I have no excuse for making 
poetry if I could, and shedding a few tears over the faith- 
ful companion of my wanderings, lately deceased. Savages 
never throw tomahawks at me or stick my best hat full of 

TIPB 



OH THAT DRIVE! 370 

arrows. It is true that I have often been horribly 
frightened, but generally without any adequate cause; and 
I have suffered fearfully from a too liberal admixture of 
saleratus in my bread, and terrible things happened to me 
in consequence, but only in my dreams. I don't get lost 
for weeks, and half starved ; neither buffaloes gore me, 
nor Avapiti spike me with their antlers. If I drew 
upon my imagination, the draft would probably be 
returned with ' no effects ' written across the face of it : 
or, if there was any value to be found, some officious 
person would surely disclose that the notes were forgeries 
or the coin counterfeit. So I have been precluded by 
my immunity from very perilous adventures from offering 
to the reader in the preceding anything more than a 
simple description of an ordinary humdrum trip. 

It was a stormy day on which, with great regret, we 
left Fort Ellis and the pretty little town of Bozeman ; and 
it was snowing heavily and bitterly cold when we drove 
into Virginia City, where we remained two days, and then 
took the stage for Corinne. 

Oh that drive ! Can I ever forget it ? It occurs to 
my mind hke the memory of some horrid dream — some 
dreadful nightmare. Four days and four nights in the 
interior of that vehicle ; worse a great deal than Jonah's 
three in the whale's belly ; — four mortal days and nights 
going 340 miles, or thereabouts. We got on pretty well 
for the first two days, thanks to the unfailing cheerful- 
ness and indomitable good-humour of Jack ; but the third 
night was very severe, and on the fourth our miseries 
culminated, and we collapsed. 

The road was over a level plain of soft clayey soil, 
recently flooded with torrents of rain. It was cut into, 
not ruts merely, but trenches, by the heavy ox-teams 
carrying northern freights. There were great hol^s in it 
feet deep. Over or through this we were somehow 



380 THE GREAT DIVIDE. 

dragged by four liorses, at a rate of about two and a half 
miles per hour during the whole night. The coach, as I 
think I have before stated, was an old-fashioned, leathern 
inconveniency slung on straps ; and the way that engine of 
torture jerked, kicked, plunged, and pitched us about is 
past all telling. Wynne, being a man of fine proportions, 
and moreover dressed in Ulsters and other voluminous 
garments, jammed himself between the back and middle 
seats, and got a httle sleep ; while Kingsley sat in the 
opposite back corner, half asleep from sheer fatigue, his 
head wobbhng and chucking from side to side in a man- 
ner that must have severely tried the toughness of his 
neck. His face wore an expression of stolidly calm in- 
difierence ; but an evidence of internal suffering was oc- 
casionally jerked from between his chattering teeth in the 

shape of an explosive d n. There was a moral force, 

emphasis, and energy about that monosyllable that signi- 
fied more than a whole column of strong language. 

Jack sat beside me on the front seat, his six feet of 
lissom frame tied and knotted up into inextricable confu- 
sion, his head appearing in strange and unexpected places, 
hands and feet turning up promiscuously, and without the 
slightest regard to the anatomical positions which they are 
usually supposed to occupy. He would fall over asleep on 
my shoulder, and the next moment I would awake to 
the consciousness that his toe was intruding into my 
mouth ; or, if he lay in the other direction, with his feet in 
my lap, I would be astonished to find him grabbing wildly 
at my hair to prevent himself falling into the bottom of the 
coach. Jack, best and cheeriest of companions, was for 
once out of humour. Fervent and frequent were his 
prayers, having reference to the future condition of driver, 
horses, coach, road, those that made it, the teams that 
had cut it up, and everything and everybody that had to 
do with the line. But swearing did not last long. Things 



VALE! 381 

soon got too bad for that. Language, even the most 
violent language, is quite inadequate to express one's 
feelings on certain occasions. No one knows what mean, 
weak, and sickly things are mere words until in som^e 
nocturnal wanderings in his bedroom he has stubbed 
his naked toe against the leg of a chair in the dark, or 
has become utterly fretful and demoralised by such a 
stage journey as we had to undergo. Hindostanee might 
possibly be of service if thoroughly understood and judi- 
ciously employed ; but English is of no use whatever ; and 
we soon gave up the attempt to express our sentiments, 
and relapsed into and maintained a gloomy silence. 

As for me, I endeavoured to sit still in my corner ; but, 
being of a light frame and spare body, I found that, not 
being provided with any suction apparatus in those parts, 
my efforts were unavailing, and I spent most of the night 
bounding about the coach like a pea on a drum, causing 
much dissatisfaction to myself and my fellow-travellers. 
If I did lie down across the front and middle seat, not 
being stout enough to stick between them like Wynne, I 
speedily doubled up, feet and head together, and fell 
through after the manner of a clown in a pantomime, 
who, lying on his back across a barrel, and being smitten 
violently on the stomach, folds up and collapses therein. I 
soon got beyond the consolations of swearing, and confess 
that I felt more inclined to cry than to do anything else. 

But all things come to an end ; and at length, tired, 
sulky, and giddy, we arrived at Corinne eighteen hours 
late, and just in time to step on board a train bound east. 
How luxurious appeared the Pullman car, how smooth 
the motion, how soft the cushions, how snug the beds ! 
With what awe did our unaccustomed eyes regard the 
ladies ! How gorgeous they appeared, how graceful they 
were, how marvellous their costumes, and how stupen- 
dous their back hair ! How extraordinary seemed the 



.382 



THE GREAT DIVIDE. 



harmonium, and the singing thereto ! How clean one feh 
in a ' boiled rag ' and fresh suit of clothes, and how sound 
we all slept that night ! 

Having now fairly returned to civilisation, I must say 
good-bye, reluctant to banish from memory the souvenirs 
of an extremely pleasant tour. At this distance of time, 
the recollections of annoyances and discomforts have faded 
and grown dim, and scarcely cast a shadow across the 
bright and ha^py memories that crowd my brain. Could 
I but transcribe and paint the scenes and pictures that 
pass before me when I shut my eyes and think, I sliould, 
I am sure, induce some of my readers to spend a holiday 
in those far-away Western wilds, and to make a pilgrimage 
to the ' Great Divide.' 




HEAD OF MOTJNTAIN SHEEP. 



LONDON : PRINTED BY 

Sl'OTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW-STREET SQUAKB 

AND PAULIAilENT STREET 



«.^ 










'-yi/^r: